Tech Universe: Wednesday 27 June

By Miraz Jordan

Stop, what did you say? They can read my fingerprints from up to six metres away? Oh right, I have nothing to hide ... Photo / Thinkstock
Stop, what did you say? They can read my fingerprints from up to six metres away? Oh right, I have nothing to hide ... Photo / Thinkstock

CLEAN PRINT: IDair's fingerprint reader doesn't needs you to be hands-on with it. Instead it can read your fingerprint from up to six metres away. The system takes a photo of your finger and then applies edge detection, pattern recognition and other algorithms to come up with the fingerprint. Because users don't have to actually touch anything there are no problems with a build up of oil or dirt. Give the door a wave. Alabama Live elaborates.

FUZZY TV: When we look straight ahead our peripheral vision still catches what else is going on around us, although without detail. Infinity-by-Nine is an IBM system to beef up a home theatre. It extrapolates content from the main screen and projects a fuzzy rendition of elements from that image on side screens. The goal is to make viewing a richer and more immersive experience. It looks good, but it's surprising it doesn't take it on to ceiling and floor too. MIT Media Lab explains.

Check out the video.

MOVIE CARDS: With recent computers not including an optical drive DVDs may not be a good choice for movies any more. Muvichip, from a US company, takes a new approach. It's a thin plastic card the size of a credit card, but with a USB port. Each card holds a movie. To watch the movie insert a small magnetic chip with a circuit board into the card's USB slot. Then you can stream the movie to up to 4 devices at a time. That could be handy for those times when there's no Internet
connection. Red Ferret details.

WATER SLIDE: When a boat travels through water there's friction between the hull and the water that creates drag. The Ghost, a ship from Juliet Marine Systems in the US uses a protective bubble of air to travel very quickly, and reduce friction and fuel costs. The notion of this kind of gaseous bubble around a craft is called supercavitation. Although it's been tried before it seems The Ghost is
the first craft to actually implement the idea usefully. Xconomy has further information.

THAT ENZYME GLOW: Bioluminescence Resonance Energy Transfer may be a new way to create light without needing batteries or other sources of electricity. The system draws on the same materials fireflies use to produce light. Quantum nanorods composed of an outer shell of cadmium sulfide and an inner core of cadmium seleneide have the enzyme luciferase attached to their surface. Then a fuel called luciferin is added. When it interacts with the enzyme energy is released that causes the nanorods to glow. By carefully optimising every part of the system it can be made quite efficient. While the system works in the lab so far, researchers hope to scale it up for commercial uses. But the fuel must run out at some point, and where does one buy luciferin? Syracuse University has more info.

Miraz Jordan, knowit.co.nz

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