Tech Universe: Monday 26 August

By Miraz Jordan

Imagine an electric car that can fold in half when you park it. Photo / Thinkstock
Imagine an electric car that can fold in half when you park it. Photo / Thinkstock

GYMNASTIC CAR: Are tiny electric cars your thing? Not toys, but full-size vehicles you can drive on the roads and park anywhere? The fold-up 4 wheel drive 2-seater Armadillo-T from the Korean Institute of Science and Technology is the one you'll want to see. The prototype micro electric car tucks its rear body away, folding its 2.8 metre length down to 1.65 metres. The motors are in the wheels, while the battery is in the front. The driver can use a smartphone remote app to have the car turn itself 360 degrees so it can park itself in even tiny spaces. The car can fast charge in 10 minutes to give 100 Km range at up to 60 Kph. That's a nifty transformation.

FILM ON THE RUN: The Garmin Virb HD action camera has 3 hours of battery life and a rugged, waterproof design. The 9 element glass lens shoots in wide, medium and narrow modes and includes digital stabilisation and lens distortion correction.

VIRB Elite includes an accelerometer, altimeter and high-sensitivity GPS. The camera can also connect with smartphones and other Garmin devices.

PARTYCAM: TheQ camera has 3G built in so all shots are saved online automatically. From there photos can also automatically go to social networks, and have filters applied. The waterproof 5 megapixel camera includes an LED flash ring around the lens, and features two shutter buttons — one for flash and one for no-flash photos. The f2.4 wide-angle lens uses a shock- and scratch-resistant 2P2G mix of glass and plastic. This camera comes in 9 different colours and is meant for fun at the beach or in the pool or wherever the party is. Will you carry both a smartphone and a camera though?

BAGS ON TRIKES: Whip that front fork off your bike and replace it with a Noomad. Now you'll have a trike with two wheels in the front and space between for carrying cargo. A panel between the front wheels allows you to mount a large bag or perhaps a child seat. If your balance isn't really up to cycling this machine adds much needed stability too. It probably makes more sense to carry a child on the front of the bike than on a seat behind you.

HEAVYWEIGHT MAPS: Your mass stays the same wherever you go, but if you were instantly transported to the top of Mount Everest you'd weigh less. That's because Earth's gravity isn't uniform, on account of varying densities and the effects of centrifugal forces. Researchers at Curtin University spent 3 weeks with a supercomputer to compile a high-resolution map from satellite and topographic data. The map has more than 3 billion points showing gravitational fields over most of the Earth's surface, with a resolution of about 250 metres. This high-res map will be useful for those building tunnels, dams and tall buildings. Of course, actually climbing Mount Everest would have a more drastic effect on your weight.

Miraz Jordan, knowit.co.nz

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a1 at 30 Aug 2014 18:47:36 Processing Time: 591ms