Tag Archives: Technology

10 Future Law Enforcement Technologies

If you thought getting scanned and groped at the airport was the end, boy are you in for a surprise. Police around the world advancing are their arsenal of weapons with powerful technologies. Soon police may be flying overhead with unmanned drones, using powerful lights to temporarily blind suspects, and even use new cloaking technologies for covert operations.  brings us this sci-fi themed list of new police technologies. 


Read more: http://www.viralviralvideos.com/2012/03/06/10-future-law-enforcement-technologies/

First Person Hyperlapse

First Person Hyperlapse

With the dawn the GoPro camera, anyone can become a first person cameraman. These videos are great, especially in time lapse mode. The only problem is, the videos are often shaky when sped up. Thankfully, Johannes Kopf has unveiled a new technology to smooth out any first person time lapse. He calls it Hyperlapse.


Read more: http://www.viralviralvideos.com/2014/08/11/first-person-hyperlapse/

How Well Did Back To The Future Predict Our Lives In 2015?

Today, October 21, 2015, is the very day Marty McFly and Doc Brown appear in the famous DeLorean time-traveling machine from the year 1985. Back in the 80s, when the second installment of the Back to the Future trilogy was released, the year 2015 must have seemed like the distant future, full of technology that would be have appeared completely unrealistic at the time. Naturally, as the day approaches, and the fictional timeline and our own merge, picking apart the hugely popular film and working out what it may or may not have correctly predicted about 2015 is a geeky necessity.

1. Hoverboards

The most memorable image of the film the 80s-clothed youngster flying through the future on a hoverboard is fiction no more. Just this year, three different hoverboards have been demonstrated to be practically viable, albeit with some very different technologies.

First off, Lexus with considerable pomp and circumstance has premiered the Slide, a hoverboard that uses superconducting magnets, which are cooled by liquid nitrogen to imbue them with their super repelling powers. This allows the user to genuinely glide almost frictionlessly through the air, hovering a good few inches off the ground. It looks the part, it certainly works the one slight problem is that without a custom-built magnetic track, it wont work.

Hendo Hover, a hoverboard that also does what it says on the tin, is a slightly cheaper alternative, using a series of conductors and electromagnets to levitate the rider above the ground. Youll need your own bespoke copper skate park again, though, so unless we suddenly decide to infuse the tarmac outside with copper, this wont be available for everyday use.

Oddly, the only hoverboard currently available that actually works without any of this custom skate park tomfoolery also happens to be the cheapest: Mr Hoverboard, which definitely sounds like it would fit within the Back to the Future aesthetic, is only $420 (270), and it definitely hovers above the ground. Perhaps disappointingly, there isnt anything futuristic about itit is powered by four large leaf blowers, illuminated underneath by LEDs. To be fair, though, it does work anywhere outside.

Either way, hoverboards do exist, so Im going to give the film series a point here.

2. Self-tying shoelaces

Back to the Future II exhibited a Nike shoe that, apart from aglowing base that features in the film, also had power laces that tied themselves. Although Nike isactively working on making this a reality, these wonderful creations dont really exist yet. Sorry, Marty.

3. Holograms

Image credit: dim4ik-69/Shutterstock

Holograms are definitely real, thats for sure. Theyre everywhere in the fictional 2015, but in our world this isnt so much the case. They do exist, though, and although we dont see them when walking into bars or coffee shops, the real-life holograms are even more advanced than their Back to the Future counterparts.

Researchers at the Digital Nature Group have invented holograms that, far from just being projections you can ogle, react to being touched. Thats right: in 2015, we have the capability to produce holograms that we can touch and physically feel. These magical fairy lights are generated by a series of lasers that excite,or ionize, the air particles, generating something called a plasma. Not only does this process cause the emission of light, but the suspension of plasma (a mixture of positive and negative particles) in the air interacts with anything it touches, including human skin.

As it turns out, these holograms feel like sandpaper. They might not use artificial intelligence to interact with us, but they are technically more advanced than even the film could have foreseen.

4. Interactive screen technology

Between punters using video chat to communicate with each other, having paper-thin televisions that could stream all kinds of content on demand, ordering things on tablet computers, and seeing advertisementsblared gregariously on screens of all shapes and sizes in everypartof society, Back to the Future II really nailed this one on the head. What itdidnt get right was that we can do all of these things, and far more, using a device that can fit into our pockets: the smartphone.

5. Biometric security

Speaking of interactive technology, there are a fair few examples in the film where fingerprint recognition technology is used, which is commonplace today. Not only that, but retinal scans, and even scans which recognize the user from their unique brain activity are also genuine technologies;another example where the real world 2015 is more bizarre than the fictional one Doc Brown was waltzing around.

6. Robots

Image credit: Ociacia/Shutterstock.

We do have robots, but for the most part they are relegated to laboratory testing areas for now. Although they can perform some complex tasks when controlled by a human, autonomous robots currently have trouble walking through doors or falling over without faceplanting. Drones, personal or otherwise, are ubiquitous these days, so perhaps they should be walking dogs instead of clumsy bipedal machine men.

7. 3D movies

Yep, these exist in both the fictional and real worlds. Unfortunately, they are just as irritating in each.

8. Augmented Reality

Another hit: this technology has been brewing away as a workable concept for some time, but has recently made headlines with the briefly publically available Google Glass. Its optical head-mounted display feeds additional information about the world, such as the weather forecast, traffic patterns, social networking updates, directions and nearby friend locations straight into the eyes of the user, augmenting reality. It can film, take photographs, play music and translate signs in front of the user from one language into another within an instant. Meanwhile, the Oculus Rift, another modern contraption, is a virtual reality headset which effectively creates the illusion of being able to directly interact with a virtual environment.

The Back to the Future II variant is the offspring of both. Good work, Doc!

9. Flying cars

Sadly, this has not yet come to pass. Tantalizingly, a prototype flying car has been developed and shown to work: developed by AeroMobil, it can reach speeds of 160 kilometers per hour (99.5 miles per hour) as a car and 200 kilometers per hour (124 miles per hour) as a plane. At the flick of a switch, it transforms between the two in only two minutes. However, it uses the same technology found in small planes to fly, not some antigravitational wizardry as seen in the film. Marty and Doc get another point here as the flying car technically does exist, but unfortunately it isn’t for sale to the public just yet. For now, where were going, we still need roads.

10. Pepsi Perfect

Image credit: MAHATHIR MOHD YASIN/Shutterstock.

Pepsi hasjumped on the populist bandwagon here, manufacturing a limited edition bottle of its flagship beverage Pepsi Perfect identical to the prop used in the film. I cant give the film a point here for correctly predicting the future Pepsi bottle design: the soft drinks giant clearly looked back at the film and released this rare collectible version of its fizzy stalwart to cash in on the anniversary.

Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey

So, Back to the Future II scores a remarkable 8/10 in its predictions of the future. Great Scott! Thats pretty good going. Hoverboard race, anyone?

Image credit: meunierd/Shutterstock.

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/editors-blog/did-back-future-ii-actually-predict-world-2015

Amputee Simultaneously Controls Two Robotic Prosthetic Limbs With His Thoughts

Science appears to be on a serious roll this week. Just two days ago we heard of a woman, paralyzed from the neck down, who was able to control a robotic arm with just her thoughts thanks to advances in brain-computer interface technology. And now, in a world first, a double amputee has managed to gain control of two robotic prosthetic arms attached to his body, using his mind. In a short training period, the man was able to manoeuvre the arms simply by thinking about the movements, and performed various different tasks.

Leslie Baugh was involved in an electrical accident some time ago which meant that both of his arms had to be amputated at shoulder level. Forty years on, he decided to participate in a trial conducted by scientists at Johns Hopkins University. For the past 10 years, members of the University’s Applied Physics Laboratory have been working on developing Modular Prosthetic Limbs, or robotic arms, as part of the Revolutionizing Prosthetics Program which aims to “restore near-natural motor and sensory capability to upper-extremity amputee patients.”

Having made huge progress in developing this limb system, the researchers needed to scrutinize the usability of the prosthetics on volunteers. But before the arms could be fitted onto Baugh, he had to undergo a surgical procedure at Johns Hopkins Hospital called targeted muscle reinnervation, which basically redirects his nerves to the devices.

“It’s a relatively new surgical procedure that reassigns nerves that once controlled the arm and the hand,” Johns Hopkins Trauma Surgeon Albert Chi said in a statement. “By reassigning existing nerves, we can make it possible for people who have had upper-arm amputations to control their prosthetic devices by merely thinking about the action they want to perform.”

Next, the researchers used pattern recognition algorithms to identify the muscles that contract during movement, and translated that into actual prosthetic movements. During the next phase, Baugh was trained to operate the system using a virtual-reality version in preparation for the real thing. After becoming familiar with how it works, Baugh was fitted with the prosthetic limbs, which were attached and supported via a shoulder socket. This socket also joined up the devices with the reinnervated nerves.

Amazingly, after just 10 days of training, Baugh was able to perform a variety of tasks with the thought-controlled limbs, such as picking up objects and moving them around. He could even manipulate the arms independently at the same time, which is the first time that such a feat has been achieved through mind control.

“I think we are just getting started. It’s like the early days of the internet,” Principal Investigator Michael McLoughlin said in a news release. “There is just a tremendous amount of potential ahead of us, and we’ve just started down this road. And I think the next five to ten years are going to bring phenomenal advancement.”

According to the team, they are now working towards being able to send Baugh home with the limbs so that he can begin to integrate them into his everyday life.



[Via Johns Hopkins University APL and PopSci]

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/technology/amputee-simultaneously-controls-two-robotic-prosthetic-limbs-his-thoughts

Remote Control Helicopter Tour Of Las Vegas

Using a simple GoPro camera attached to a remote control quadrocopter, Team Black Sheep made this very sweet tour of the Las Vegas strip. The first person view video stands with 30,000 views, and is featured on MPViral.  


Read more: http://www.viralviralvideos.com/2012/04/09/remote-control-helicopter-tour-of-las-vegas/

Yo-Yo Tricks In Space

Having the amazing opportunity to work in space is many scientists dream. And one of the best parts of being in space is the fun parts! Like experimenting with toys from Earth, such as the yo-yo. 

Since the physics are different in space, the yo-yo behaves differently, causing the tricks to have new outcomes. 

 just published this video NASA Astronaut Don Pettit showing us some cool new and classic yo-yo tricks in space that has started to trend. 


Read more: http://www.viralviralvideos.com/2012/08/10/yo-yo-tricks-in-space/

Australian Beaches Are Introducing Shark-Detecting Drones

The government of New South Wales (NSW) in Australia has released a high-tech $16 million (US$11.6 million, 7.55 million) plan to address this year’s flurry of shark attacks.

Last year, there were three shark attacks leading to two fatalities in NSW. Even before the beach holiday season in December, this year has already seen 13 attacks,including the death of41-year-old surferTadashi Nakahara.

To tackle the issue, the NSW government is launching a wide range of newly developed shark mitigation technologies. They will spend$7.7 million (US $5.6 million, 3.6 million) of the total fundon surveillance and deterrence, while another $7 million (US $5.1 million, 3.3 million) is being allocated to scientific research on sharks and tagging.

A good chunk of money$3.5 million (US $2.55 million, 1.65 million)will go towardsahelicopter surveillance program. New technology to alert citizens ofshark sightings is also being invested in, with a $1.3 million injection into the SharkSmart app. Five Clever Buoy systems will also be deployed,which usesonar signals to spot sharks. The tagging of sharks will allow real-time 4G tracking with the help of 10 listening stations between Tweeds Head and Forster.

Starting this December, when the beaches are at their busiest, shark-detecting drones will also be deployedover the beaches. This follows on fromCalifornia using dronesthis summer to deter shark attacks.

Along with this surveillance technology, six sites will trial eco-friendly barrier nets.

According toThe Sydney Morning Herald, Minister for Primary IndustriesNiall Blairsaid: We are proud to be the first jurisdiction anywhere in the world to adopt an integrated approach toward keeping our beaches safe.

However, environmentalistshave been skeptical of the new plan. Last monthat asharksummit in NSW, Associate Professor Daryl McPhee said, Theres a lot of impressive YouTube videos that shows various devices being able to deter a shark but as a scientist thats not a scientifically definitive approach. No matter whats used, it will not be 100% effective. Other experts suggested the government shouldnt placate to peoples fear.

Image credit:Lee/Flickr. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/technology/australian-beaches-are-introducing-shark-spotting-drones

Google Introduces Project Wing

Google Introduces Project Wing

The Internet and tech world exploded in glee when Amazon introduced their drone delivery program, Amazon Prime Air. Though the program is years from reality, it demonstrates what will soon be commonplace. Now, the world’s most famous tech company, Google, is joining the drone game. 

Google‘s semi-secret invention center Google X has just debuted Project Wing, a similar drone delivery program. Soon, the sky will be full of buzzing drones delivering pizzas to headphones. 


Read more: http://www.viralviralvideos.com/2014/08/28/google-introduces-project-wing/