Tech Universe: Friday 2 September

By Miraz Jordan

MOVIE POD: If you're looking cool in your 3D glasses now, just wait till you wrap Sony's new HMZ-T1 personal 3D viewer around your head. The headset includes a pair of 1280 x 720 OLED panels capable of 3D graphics and headphones with 5.1-channel virtual surround sound. It shows the equivalent of a 19 metre screen as viewed from 20 m away. Because the broad viewing area is actually wider than our actual field of vision it's really immersive. Plug the headset into your computer, Blu-ray player or other source via an HDMI cable. There's also an HDMI pass-through output so you can hook in an extra headset for a friend or a regular display. Lose yourself in an exclusive movie. Hopefully they work better than Sony's Glasstrons in the late 1990s. SlashGear has more, and there's video here.

3D CORDER: The Panasonic HDC-Z10000 is an integrated twin-lens 2D/3D camcorder. The 3.5-inch LCD appears 3D to the naked eye by sending slightly different images to each eye. View in 2D at the flick of a switch. The camera uses a Double 3MOS System with an effective 6.57 megapixels for each lens to create full HD 3D video. F1.5 ultra-low refractive index lenses allow shooting in low light. Image stabilisation helps create clear and steady images. Perfect for recording videos to watch with your 3D headset. See the full specs at Panasonic.

TROLLEY RAGE: It can be very annoying fighting your way through narrow supermarket aisles clogged with clumps of people debating the merits of different brands of instant noodles. Now it could get worse. Sainsburys in the UK are testing trolleys with attached iPads for 'watching sport'. The trolleys have a tilting iPad holder and speakers, and an onboard battery with a self-charging solar panel to power the device. They also include — and this is the most worrying item — a sensor on the front of the trolley to sound an alarm if you're about to bump into someone because you're too engrossed in the iPad. Heaven forbid you get supporters from rival football teams shopping in the same supermarket. The Telegraph has the story.

ASHES TO WATER: It used to be that when the time came you were either buried or cremated. In future you may be liquefied. The Resomation alkaline hydrolysis unit dissolves a body in heated alkaline water. Crematoria use a lot of energy and produce greenhouse gases and mercury from amalgam fillings. The new process uses less power, produces fewer greenhouse gases and captures amalgam fillings and implants such as pacemakers. The machine weighs the body, then applies the correct amounts of water, potassium hydroxide and heat. Body tissue dissolves and the bones are crushed to ash. Just pour me on the garden when I'm done. Details at the BBC.

PLASTIC IN THE BLOOD: Stitching together blood vessels is very fine work, especially if those blood vessels are less than 1 mm wide. The stitches themselves can cause problems too. A team at Stanford University School of Medicine have found that a polymer can help them glue blood vessels together. Poloxamer 407 is made of polymer blocks and becomes solid and elastic when heated above body temperature.
Surgeons use it to open the blood vessels so they can glue the ends. As the polymer cools it dissolves harmlessly into the bloodstream. The technique hasn't yet been tested on humans, but looks promising. Plastic truly is everywhere. Stanford University Medical Centre has more.

- Miraz Jordan knowit.co.nz

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