Tech Universe: Wednesday 03 August

By Miraz Jordan

Instead of carrying long lists and venturing aimlessly aisle to aisle, SK Telecom are streamlining the experience with the Smart Cart app which allows users to use their smartphones to pre-plan their shopping trip. Photo / Thinkstock
Instead of carrying long lists and venturing aimlessly aisle to aisle, SK Telecom are streamlining the experience with the Smart Cart app which allows users to use their smartphones to pre-plan their shopping trip. Photo / Thinkstock

TELL ALL TABLET: SK Telecom are mashing together a shopping trolley, accurate indoor positioning technology, smartphone and tablet to create the Smart Cart, being tested in China. Shoppers draw up a shopping list on their smartphone using the Smart Cart app — it helps them find coupons and special deals too. When they reach the supermarket their shopping list on the smartphone is synced with the tablet on the trolley. The tablet knows where they are in the store and offers more coupons and product information while they shop. When they're done the tablet shows a list of purchases, membership points and coupons. And surely then transmits that data to the cash register. Visit SK Telecom for more info.

HANDY TURNS: The prototype YouTurn is a very different type of cycling glove, but in its final form it'll be an attachment that can be used with any glove. LEDs on the back of the glove form an arrow that's motion-activated.

The arrow points in the direction of your turn, depending on how you move your hand. The device is independent of the bike itself. No information for those ahead of the cyclist though.
Kickstarter has the intro video.

LESS HEAT; LESS LIGHT: The EnFocus skylight both lets light through and captures it to create power while keeping a room cool. Lenses concentrate and direct sunlight onto slivers of solar cells to generate power. Light that doesn't hit the modules diffuses into the room below uniformly to create ambient light. Each solar panel can create up to 288 watts of power. The optical modules track the sun during the day to concentrate the light. Energy, cooling and light — that's a nice 3-for-1 effect. GigaOm sheds more light on the process.

MORE HEAT THAN LIGHT: You'd think by their name that photovoltaic cells would convert light to electricity, but a new cell from MIT converts heat instead. A material has billions of nanoscale pits etched on its surface. The material absorbs heat and emits a carefully tuned wavelength of light. The light is then converted to electricity.
The generator can be heated by any fuel or by sunlight and can run 3 times longer than a lithium-ion battery of the same weight. Heating and lighting all in one. MIT explain the whole process.

KNEE HIGH TO A MARIONETTE: You may think of marionettes as belonging to a children's party, but the girl, man and dog that walked down the street in Nantes, France the other day all dwarfed their human operators. Little Giant, is a 6 metre tall, 770 Kg female puppet with hair made from the tails of 70 horses. All the puppets are operated from cranes by teams of puppeteers. Spectacular. Laughing Squid tells it.
Check out the video.

Miraz Jordan, knowit.co.nz

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