Tech Universe: Monday 25 July

By Miraz Jordan

SCAN LINES: Some 40 law enforcement units around the US plan to use the the Mobile Offender Recognition and Information System. MORIS is an iris scanner and facial recognition device that fits over an iPhone. Designed for law enforcement, it includes a database of US criminal records. It can accurately scan a person's face from around a metre away. Ah, but is it you or your evil twin? More information here.

COOL DUDES: With the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant out of action Japan is saving power. Battery powered air-conditioned clothes from Kuchofuku are the in thing in the hot summer. The clothes include fans that circulate air, drying sweat and cooling the wearer. The lithium-ion batteries last for around 11 hours. The balloon look is so 2011. Discovery News has the details.

SHRINK THE LIBRARY: 500 gigabytes on a standard DVD-size disc: GE's micro-holographic disc can do it, though they're working towards 1 terabyte discs. Holographic discs store data in 3D patterns. They embed data directly onto virtual layers within the plastic - 20 layers in a stack that blue lasers can read. Recording speed is equal to Blu-ray. The layers don't have to be in a disc either, so data chips and cubes could be next.

Imagine borrowing every single book from a library all on 1 disc. GE News.

CHANGE UP THE CHAIR: IntelliWheels Automatic Gear-Shift aren't in production yet. This automatic gear-shift system is designed to save the shoulders of manual wheelchair users by detecting how they're pushing their chairs. The 3 gears are designed for hills, speed and general use. So obvious in hindsight. For more info click here. See the video.

COMPUTER MIME: We usually control computers with keyboard and mouse, or switches of some kind. A team of researchers from Germany and the USA want computers to understand hand movements instead, using a system called Data Miming. A Microsoft Kinect motion-capture camera makes a 3D representation of a user's hand movements, then matches that map to a database. Accuracy in tests has been high. They hope the system could be used in shopping. So, how to mime a bunch of carrots ... New Scientist points out the details.

Miraz Jordan, knowit.co.nz

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