Tech Universe: Friday 23 November

By Miraz Jordan

Augmented reality could help you lose weight by tricking your brain into thinking you're eating more food than you are. Photo / Thinkstock
Augmented reality could help you lose weight by tricking your brain into thinking you're eating more food than you are. Photo / Thinkstock

BIG FOOD: Researchers at the University of Tokyo are developing an augmented reality head-mounted display that makes food look larger than it is while keeping the size of the hand constant. In testing they've found that people eat less food when it looks larger and more when it looks smaller. The tech actually tricks the brain so people feel full even when they have eaten less than usual. The researchers want to improve the system so it can be used in the home. The food in the eyes is bigger than the food in the stomach. DigInfo TV details.

BRIGHT EYES: Seqinetic's glasses are designed to shine light near but not directly into your eyes, to help keep the winter blues away. 6 LEDs shine onto a reflector that bounces 2,500 lux of soft white daylight around your eyes. The light contains a lot of blue, but no UV. The name is derived from Seqineq, the Icelandic word for sun, and the Greek word kinetic. The battery powered glasses weigh around 64 grams, and they can be combined with your normal specs.

With all that blue light don't wear them before bedtime or they may keep you awake. Seqinetic elaborates. Video here.

LIVE WORD ACTION: If you're really serious and competitive about your Scrabble you may want to share your every play with the world. The new tournament Scrabble system includes 225 RFID antennas that read each individual Scrabble square every 974 milliseconds. Each Scrabble letter tile contains a unique RFID tag, while play software captures every tile and move to be displayed alongside the HD video footage of players. The tournament can also be streamed online. An LED lighting system adds to the show. After all, what's Scrabble without the lights? PR Newswire explains.

THOUGHTS TAKE FLIGHT: A pyramid, a flying sphere and an EEG monitor sound like essential elements of a scifi story. They're not, though. Instead together they make up the Puzzlebox Orbit: a toy that's operated by your thoughts. The open sphere protects a helicopter that launches from the pyramid as you concentrate on it. When your concentration fades, the helicopter lands again. The pyramid is a remote control and also displays your concentration and relaxation levels with lights. A smartphone app can also be used to control the sphere and to display brainwaves. The thinking person's toy. Puzzlebox Orbit finds. Video here.

MINES IN THE WIND: Clearing landmines is extremely important work, but also very dangerous and costly. The idea behind the Mine Kafon is that it rolls across a minefield, blown by the wind, and has multiple legs that can trigger mines. Made from bamboo and biodegradable plastics, the low-cost Mine Kafon also contains a GPS chip. A website shows its movement, the safest paths and how many land mines are destroyed in that area. A triggered mine will destroy a couple of the Mine Kafon's legs, but it has enough to continue through several explosions. The inventor grew up in Afghanistan near a minefield. It seems a bit random, but every mine safely exploded is one less threat to people and animals. Massoud Hassani has further info. Video here.

Miraz Jordan, knowit.co.nz

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