Bats are the inspiration behind this recent design inspired by the white cane used by blind people to detect obstacles. Ultrasonic waves are emitted by the cane in a similar way to how bats detect their insect prey; the cane then vibrates to indicate to the user the presence of any obstacles. A key advantage is that it has a wide range of detection but it is not expected to spell the end of seeing-eye-dogs.
It can be easy to take water for granted but it is a precious commodity, and nowhere is this felt more strongly than in places such as the Atacama Desert, which is considered the driest desert in the world. Attempts have been made to solve the water-shortage issue in this area and have included plans to harvest fog. A conceptual fog-collecting tower is on display in the Nevada Museum of Art.
The ultimate touchscreen
Touchscreens have moved from science-fiction, to very common reality and recent developments suggest significant improvements can be made to user-interfacing options.
A new type of touchscreen technology called TapSense will take advantage of the dexterity of the human finger and perform different functions depending on whether you use your nail, finger pad, finger tip or knuckle on the screen.