SKELETON KEY: I hate fumbling with a door key when my arms are full of shopping. Now researchers from AT&T Labs are working on a door that opens when you touch the handle, even though the door's locked. The idea is that a smartphone sends an inaudible acoustic signal through the person's skeleton. The door handle receives the signal, and if the vibration signature is correct, the door unlocks. Nice idea. Innovation News Daily has more.
PUNCHY: Missing your loved one? Call them up on your smartphone and hug the Hugvie instead. The plush toy has a pocket for your cellphone and a microcontroller and vibrators that produce a throbbing sound like a heartbeat. The throbbing changes according to the volume and tone of the caller's voice. Aww, better hope the other person's not angry when you call. DigInfoTV explains.
THE CRUSHER: Afghanistan may have as many as 10 million anti-personnel landmines in its soil. Komatsu Japan has developed the D85EX-15 deminer machine to help with the enormous task of clearing the mines.
The 38 ton machine is heavily reinforced with blast armour and can be controlled remotely. A drum on the front spins flails through the top layer of soil. It detonates and crushes mines. The deminer climbs slopes as steep as 30 degrees, and clears up to 500 square metres of land per hour. That's one mine for every 3 people in the country. Visit Gizmodo for details.
BROLLIES UP!: The Anti-Piracy Curtain isn't a cloth to throw over your laptop. Instead it's used for real-life pirates trying to board vessels at sea. Current anti-piracy systems fire water from a high-pressure canon. The curtain system uses special nozzles that make hoses whip around violently while spraying a lot of water into a pirate's boat with the aim of sinking it. The hoses can spray more than 1 cm of water a minute into a pirate boat. The hose sprays enough water to prevent a ladder being raised. What next? The anti-anti-piracy umbrella? Click DigInfo.tv for further information. Video here.
THE HAPPY GAMES: Researchers from the University of Auckland designed a special video game to help young people with depression. SPARX guides the player through challenges that help them practice handling various life situations and emotions. The study showed the game could be as effective as counselling in helping treat depression and anxiety. Anything that works ... Medgadget elaborates. Check out the video.
Miraz Jordan, knowit.co.nz