Tech Universe: Thursday 01 May

By Miraz Jordan

The Juno Power Jumpr. Photo / Junopower.com
The Juno Power Jumpr. Photo / Junopower.com

JUMP TO IT: Running out of juice on your cellphone, tablet, camera or car battery? Juno Power Jumpr can get them all going, thanks to its lithium polymer battery cells and dedicated ports. The Jumpr is small, portable and weighs less than 200 grams, yet it contains a 6,000 mAh battery pack. Use the USB 5V 2.1A output to charge your phone or the 12 Volt output at a peak of 300 amps and proprietary cables to jump start your 4 or 6 cylinder car engine. Nice.

BLADE RUNNER: Modern wind turbines use huge blades. A single blade from Danish SSP Technology destined for the turbines off the coast of Scotland is 83.5 metres long and weighs 30 tonnes. That's all very well, but moving blades from the factory to their destination isn't easy. For one thing, you need a truck at each end and negotiating corners is interesting.

Luckily, once the blades reach the coast of Denmark they can be loaded on to a ship for the next part of the journey. Once the turbines are operating, with 3 blades in place, each one generates enough energy for the annual energy consumption of an average family — in 30 minutes.

AIRY CLEANER: Worried that your vacuum cleaner may scratch your wooden floors? The body of the aiRider vacuum cleaner floats on air, rather than riding on wheels. That also makes it seem weightless when you're using it. You'd think that blowing air out below the cleaner would also blow all the dirt around too.

HIDING THE JEWELS: Al Fayah Park in the United Arab Emirates should be completed in 2017. The park will feature cafes, community gardens, a public library, recreational spaces, as well as public pools and saunas all set amidst lush gardens. To protect the 125,000 square metres of gardens from the hot sun that would quickly dry them out is a network of interconnected canopies with the texture of a dry and cracked desert. The canopies are designed to be walkable terraces, providing partial shade for the oasis below.

GENES INSIDE: People with profound hearing loss may be assisted by a cochlear implant, but they may still have trouble distinguishing different musical pitches or hearing a conversation in a noisy room. A cochlear implant converts sounds into electrical impulses, then uses electrodes to relay these signals to the auditory nerve leading to the brain. Its job is to replace hair cells that would normally do that job. Now Australian researchers are testing cochlear implants in guinea pigs to deliver gene therapy that encourages the growth of long, spiky neurons toward the electrodes of the implant. Tests suggest that those neurons improved hearing in the test animals. They hope to soon test the technique on humans. From literal to figurative guinea pigs.

Miraz Jordan, knowit.co.nz

- NZ Herald

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