Tech universe: Friday 20 August

By Miraz Jordan

A round-up of the latest technology news from around the globe.

A city in Mexico is installing real time iris scanners in train and bus stations to stop crime and fraud. Photo / Thinkstock
A city in Mexico is installing real time iris scanners in train and bus stations to stop crime and fraud. Photo / Thinkstock

EYE SPY: In Mexico the City of Leon is installing real time iris scanners in train and bus stations to stop crime and fraud. Scans go to a database that tracks people across the city. Details at Gizmodo.
It's OK: your irises change as you age, as we mentioned in Tech Universe a few days ago.

POINT AND FLICK: Who left the cap off the toothpaste? Who cares? A prototype toothbrush contains a titanium dioxide rod. Light shining on a solar panel in the base makes the rod release electrons that react with acid in the mouth and break down plaque. This toothbrush doesn't need toothpaste, so you'll never lose the cap again. More at Canada.

THIN SKIN: Displax Skin is a transparent polymer film with a grid of nanowires embedded in it.

A touch or a puff of air creates an
electrical disturbance that can be turned into an action. The film turns any non-metal surface into an interactive touchscreen. Hmm, keylogger potential abounds. More at Mashable.

DOTTY DRIVES: 4 trillion bits per square inch: that's a lot of data being written onto a ferroelectric drive. These drives are all-electric, rather than magnetic or flash drives. A stylus changes electrical polarisation on individual dots to store data as ones or zeroes, packing the dots in at about 12.8 nanometers apart. How many zeroes in a trillion again? More at IO9.

PLUG AND POWER: Solar power isn't easy: you need to spend a ton of money and hire professionals to install panels. Or do you? Clarian Power in Seattle aim to provide inexpensive plug-in panels next year. Grab a panel, plug it into the wall socket and it sends its power to your devices. It's a snap. Details at CNN and video on YouTube.

- Miraz Jordan knowit.co.nz.

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