Tech Universe: Thursday 6 September

By Miraz Jordan

Over the next year or two, streets all over New Zealand will be mapped out by Terralink's StreetCam3D. Photo / Paul Estcourt
Over the next year or two, streets all over New Zealand will be mapped out by Terralink's StreetCam3D. Photo / Paul Estcourt

ON THE MAP: Terralink's StreetCam3D will map all of New Zealand's streets over the next year or two. On the back of a 4WD vehicle is a mast with high density, long range LiDAR sensor, 360 degree camera for spherical image capture and GPS and GLONASS receivers. As the vehicle drives round the streets it captures more than 1.3 million points of location data per second. All that data creates a realistic, highly accurate and measurable 3D model of the street environment. Such detailed information is potentially useful to Councils, utilities, rescue workers and others. Surely keeping the data up-to-date will be a major challenge, especially in places like Wellington CBD where major changes occur quite frequently. Terralink has further details.

THIRD EYE: Pivothead sunglasses look like any other sunglasses, but a tiny camera between the lenses can capture 1080p footage and 8-megapixel still photos. The glasses have 8GB of internal storage and can also capture audio.

You control them with buttons on the frame. Cue the spy movie music. Gear Junkie explains.

FLASH, EYE: Researchers for Bionic Vision Australia recently successfully implanted an early prototype bionic eye with 24 electrodes behind the retina of Dianne Ashworth's eye. The implant's connected via a tiny wire to a device behind her ear. When researchers stimulate the electrodes Ashworth can see flashes of light. The researchers now aim to study how Ms Ashworth responds and to develop a high-acuity implant with 1024 electrodes. And one day maybe the implant can be connected to glasses like those from Pivothead. The University of Melbourne has more info.

COOL MOVES: Some athletes turn to steroids to enhance their performance, but researchers at Stanford University have created a cooling device called 'the glove' that works better. When our body temperature increases specialised heat-transfer veins in our hands, feet and face help cool us down by cooling our blood. The glove is a rigid plastic mitt that creates an airtight seal around the hand. A slight vacuum is created and water circulates through the plastic lining. That quickly cools the core body temperature. Tests on one subject reduced his muscle fatigue and over time enabled him to substantially increase how many pull-ups he could do. The trick will be to make the device small, and embed it in athletic clothing. Stanford University details. Check out the video.

SHARK AND TELL: Every summer basking sharks visit The Isle of Man. The Manx Basking Shark Watch would like to know more about them. That's why they've started the shark passport tagging programme. They're fitting sharks with Smart Position or Temperature tags that stay on for up to five years. The satellite tags allow the organisation to track where individual sharks travel to and whether they return to the same spots in summer. It's a good thing sharks don't have privacy organisations. BBC elaborates.

Miraz Jordan, knowit.co.nz

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a2 at 31 Jul 2014 12:54:52 Processing Time: 378ms