Innovega Inc. is demonstrating at CES prototypes of what looks like the most radical augmented-reality eyewear yet. Innovega CEO Steve Willey Monday runs down the specs of their iOptik design: binocular 720 x 1280 pixels, 3D (depth) vision, and a humungous field of view of 90 degrees, as shown in the image above. That’s six times the number of pixels and 46 times the screen size of Google Glass using designs based on conventional optics, Willey claimed.
These specs are hard to believe. It would be almost like peering into an Oculus Rift VR display (except for Rift’s superior forthcoming 1080p res and 110 degrees FOV), with its huge optics system, but also seeing through to the real world. Or like looking at a 240-inch diagonal TV set from ten feet away, as Willey claimed.
But then he explained the trick: a bifocal contact lens in each eye to replace the huge optics, reducing the focal length down to about 1/2 inch. Microprojectors bounce images off sunglasses or clear glasses onto the contact lenses. More info here.
Great for 3D movies, gaming (with 360 degrees), and augmented reality, for starters. How about wearers of contact lenses? Willey shot back with with stats: 100 million 18 to 34-year-old consumers already wear contact lenses worldwide (due to high incidence of vision myopia, with high penetration of wearers in countries like Singapore, HK, Korea and growing at a high rate in China) — the same people interested in gaming, smartphones, and media-rich content and apps.
The glasses will probably be available within the next two to three years and will cost around $500 to start,” he said, explaining that they plan to license the technology to partner companies.
A translucent underwater cave dweller that looks like a skeleton and travels like an inchworm is the newest member of California's array of marine life.
Scientists found a new species of skeleton shrimp — a group of tiny crustaceans that are actually caprellid amphipods, not shrimp — in vials collected from a small cave offshore of Southern California's Catalina Island. The two vials, one containing a male and one containing a female, were housed in the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa.
Lead study author José Manuel Guerra-García, a caprellid expert at the University of Seville in Spain, realized the "shrimp" were a never-before-recognized species during a 2010 visit to the museum. Guerra-García compared the ghostlike creatures with other species of the genus, Liropus, and confirmed other scientists had never described the tiny crustaceans.
As early as 2015, your Amazon purchases could be dropped at your door within 30 minutes courtesy of unmanned aerial drones. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos revealed plans for the delivery service Prime Air (an extension of Amazon Prime which guarantees two-day shipping) in a 60 Minutes prime time interview.
The service would ship orders under five pounds (2.3 kg) after they are packed into small plastic containers and then scooped up by Amazon's custom-built "octocopter." The drone then delivers the package to customers within a 10 mile (16 km) radius of Amazon's fulfillment centers.
Clearly the company will need to jump through various hoops to get the service off the ground, with public safety being a primary concern. "Safety will be our top priority, and our vehicles will be built with multiple redundancies designed to commercial aviation standards," the company says.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is currently working on rules and regulations for unmanned aerial vehicles, a process which Amazon hopes will be completed sooner rather than later. "We hope the FAA's rules will be in place as early as sometime in 2015. We will be ready at that time."
We have seen a rise in proposals for the use of drones to deliver commercial products. One Australian startup plans to use drones to deliver school textbooks to customers in March 2014, while The Burrito Bomberhopes to be dropping Mexican cuisine on people as soon as 2015. With Amazon's product range, however, Prime Air would be the first to do so on such a large and diverse scale.
It may sound like science fiction, but given that Bezos claims that 300 items per second will be ordered from Amazon on Cyber Monday, it is possible that flocks of Prime Air drones will be zipping around above us in the very near future.
Baile Zhang, an assistant professor of physics at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, has used the light-bending qualities of calcite - a cheap and abundant mineral that is a form of calcium carbonate - to create the first macroscopic invisibility cloak. Zhang originally came up with the technology in 2010. This short video clip is similar to what he recently demonstrated on stage at TED2013. He is placing a piece of calcite over a rolled-up Post-it note submerged in oil, making the pink tube appear to disappear. This research has applications in imaging, communication, and defense.
Deep beneath the Pacific’s surface, the world’s tallest waves have been discovered. Reaching up to 800 feet, they are known to researchers as internal waves.
Almost three miles beneath the ocean’s surface, internal waves are formed at the boundary of layers of water with different densities in a deep South Pacific trench, known as the Samoan Passage. These giant waves rise up due to ridges on the ocean floor in a narrow channel to the northwest of Samoa where cold, saltier water rises up into the warmer water above then plunges back down into the denser water on the other side of the ridge.
The findings are published in a journal named Geophysical Research Letters where Professor Matthew Alford says, “the flow accelerates substantially at the primary sill within the passage, reaching speeds as great as 0.55 m s−1. A strong hydraulic response is seen, with layers first rising to clear the sill and then plunging hundreds of meters downward.”
Although it will never (we can safely assume) be possible for surfers to ride these waves, they do play a much more important role. Scientists say that the waves are essential for mixing nutrients in the ocean.
“Oceanographers used to talk about the so-called ‘dark mixing’ problem, where they knew that there should be a certain amount of turbulence in the deep ocean, and yet every time they made a measurement they observed a tenth of that,” Alford said.
As the dense bottom layer of water flows over two consecutive ridges in the Samoan Passage, it forms waves, similar to air rising over a mountain. On reaching the lighter, warmer water above, they become unstable and break, mixing the two layers of water. The waves may also play a role in stimulating global currents teaching us that the seasonal swells we enjoy at our local breaks aren’t an annual coincidence.
NanoDoc is a system where scientists can setup simulated tumor scenarios and players are then invited to design nanoparticles to attack the tumor. Various characteristics of the nanoparticles can be manipulated and strategies developed by utilizing players’ own intuition, the true source of crowdsourced research projects.
Before any gaming can commence though, the players are first led through a training session that introduces them to concepts in nanomedicine and how the NanoDoc is to be used. Players then participate in creating new nanoparticles and the most promising candidates will end up being validated in: 1) in vitro tissue-on-a-chip constructs that we have designed to emulate the extravasation of functionalized nanoparticles from artificial vessels into a compartment containing tumor cells and 2) robotic swarm systems (kilobots) in collaboration with Radhika Nagpal’s lab from the Wyss Institute at Harvard University.”