Tech Universe: Thursday 10 May

By Miraz Jordan

A group of students from Princeton University have had a lightbulb moment by coming up with Power in a Box: a means to provide energy during an emergency. Photo / Thinkstock
A group of students from Princeton University have had a lightbulb moment by coming up with Power in a Box: a means to provide energy during an emergency. Photo / Thinkstock

POWER BOX: In a disaster power supplies may be disrupted and difficult to restore. A groups of students from Princeton University created a prototype Power in a Box system that fits in a standard shipping container and could be readily delivered to where it's needed. Inside the container is a 12 metre telescoping tower and wind turbine and a series of solar panels. It's designed to replace diesel-powered generators in areas cut off from other power sources. Except, how will it be delivered in a disaster? Princeton University provides further explanation.

CHEAP SLEEP: With increasing tourism comes a greater demand for cheap accommodation. That's why China has opened its first capsule hotel in Xi'an, in Shaanxi Province. The capsules are extremely small rooms with a bed, TV set, dresser, computer desk and wireless broadband. Communal laundries and lounges round out the facilities. Snorers have their own wing in the hotel.

Sounds ideal for people travelling on the cheap. Chinanews.com has more.

DEEP SLEEP: In Dubai they're diving deep. The Water Discus Hotel will include 21 underwater rooms around 10 metres deep, along with an underwater diving centre, a spa, garden and open terrace above the waterline. The disc-shaped hotel will have one section above and another below water. A special lighting system will illuminate the flora and fauna outside. All of which won't disrupt the seabed or sea life at all, I'm sure. The Daily Mail explains.

DIAGNOSIS OF CROWDS: Malaria can be hard to diagnose, so how about enlisting crowds of people to play a game to do the work? Researchers at the University of California tested a computer game played on a tablet or smartphone where players assessed images of microbes. Their predictions for malaria came within 1.25% of those from an expert pathologist. Maintaining interest in the game may be the bigger problem. The Ozcan Research Group elaborates. Here's the video.

DENSE ENERGY: 250 billion solar nanocrystals on the head of a pin! These solar cells from the University of Southern California are really tiny and could be painted onto a surface. The nanocrystals, made of the semiconductor cadmium selenide, are cheap to fabricate but not very efficient. Cadmium is also toxic and restricted in commercial applications. Once the researchers have overcome those problems though, we could start seeing solar cells we can paint or print onto the surface we need them on. Sigh, so many otherwise good things are toxic. For more info visit University of Southern California.

Miraz Jordan, knowit.co.nz

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a4 at 17 Sep 2014 10:43:12 Processing Time: 608ms