Tech Universe: Wednesday 25 September

By Miraz Jordan

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

RUNNING HOT: In a couple of weeks a team from The University of Waikato will take part in the World Solar Challenge. They aim to drive their UltraCommuter electric car 500km per day across Australia, travelling at over 90 Kph with only one stop for a top-up charge from mains electricity. The cars drive 3,000 Km from Darwin to Adelaide. We've just had the wind energy races, now it's time for solar.

DEEP EYE: OceanGate's Cyclops submersible can go 3 Km deep with up to 5 people on board. It includes a large 180 degree viewing dome so all aboard can get a good view. The submersible sits on a floating barge that can easily be unloaded from a ship. The crew enter the Cyclops, then the barge submerges to 20 metres allowing the Cyclops to float off. After its mission the Cyclops returns to the barge to be lifted back aboard the ship. The craft is 5.5 metres long and can travel at 3.5 knots. It has 96 hours of life support and can carry 500 Kg of payload. That could be fun for an underwater tour.

WRIST WATCHER: Do you need to monitor your blood pressure? The iHealth Wireless Blood Pressure Wrist Monitor makes things simple. It's a small cuff that goes around the wrist and sends data via Bluetooth to a smartphone app. The cuff includes motion sensors to measure and track systolic/diastolic numbers, heart rate, pulse wave and measurement time, while the app lets you chart the information and share it with others.

SNAP ONE: How do you take a photo of a single nanoparticle or virus? With your smartphone, of course, provided it has the right gear attached. A team at the University of California devised a compact system of lenses and filters, creating the first portable cellphone based imaging system sensitive enough to detect individual nanoparticles and viruses. This could allow doctors in remote regions to easily monitor disease progression and determine the best course of treatment. What can't smartphones do?

HARD SEARCH: Imagine telling a search engine you want to look for a giraffe and moments later holding a model of a giraffe in your hands. Yahoo Japan have created a Hands On Search machine that includes a 3D printer. It's intended particularly for children with visual disabilities. A child speaks their search term and the result comes back as a 3D printed object. It's a nice idea, but I suspect could be a bit slow and labour intensive for practical use.

Miraz Jordan, knowit.co.nz

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf04 at 23 Dec 2014 16:19:08 Processing Time: 392ms