Tech Universe: Friday 11 May

By Miraz Jordan

Fancy getting a shirt everyone else 'likes'? Photo / Thinkstock
Fancy getting a shirt everyone else 'likes'? Photo / Thinkstock

WELL-LIKED: Do you want to buy the clothes everyone likes? One shop in Brazil is using hangars that display in real time the number of Facebook Likes the item has received. For the Fashion Like campaign the company posts photos on a dedicated Facebook page and invites viewers to Like the items that appeal. That is so open to trolling. Springwise explains. Check out the video here.

MARATHON SUIT: Two weeks after starting the London Marathon the final competitor finished the course. The competitor may have been slow, but considering she's paralysed from the chest down and was walking with the aid of a bionic ReWalk suit it's an unparalleled achievement. Motion sensors and an onboard computer system read the wearer's intentions and move the suit in response, allowing them to walk. So you decide: is 2 miles per day a slow walk or a fast one? The Telegraph has more.

DRILL AND GROW: Those fillings in your teeth really just plug up a hole. But scientists at the University of Maryland have created a filling that can also regenerate the tooth structure. After drilling harmful bacteria remain in the cavity. In the new material nanoparticles of silver and calcium include antibacterial agents and regenerate tooth minerals. Your dentist won't be using it though, as it hasn't yet been tested on human teeth. I want nanostuff that means there's no drilling at all. Visit University of Maryland for further info.

1.5 KILOPIXEL EYES: Pioneering eye implants have given 2 British men who were completely blind the ability to see light and some shapes. Now they're wearing behind their retinas a thin 3mm square microelectronic chip with 1,500 light-sensitive pixels which replace the function of photoreceptor rods and cones in the eye. A fine cable runs from the sensor to a control unit under the skin behind the ear. Now the men have to learn to correctly interpret the signals from the chips. This is part of a clinical trial of the chips, but may eventually lead to some people having at least partial vision restored. Now that's definitely an augmented reality. BBC elaborates.

SINGLE TOUCH: Disney Research are working on a sensing system called Touché that recognises various kinds of touch. It exploits the fact that different tissues in the human body have different capacitive properties. With a single wire, the system can discriminate between a single finger, several fingers, an elbow, a hand, a pair of hands and so on. This could open up a broad range of applications, such as controlling a music player simply by tapping a finger on your wrist. That could lead to some very discreet apps. Disney Research details. Watch the video.

Miraz Jordan, knowit.co.nz

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