Tech Universe: Tuesday 27 May

By Miraz Jordan

Why not give Zero G a try? Photo / YouTube
Why not give Zero G a try? Photo / YouTube

LOSE WEIGHT FAST: If you'd like to experience Zero G weightlessness you may be interested in the offerings from Swiss Space Systems. Over the course of each 90 minute parabolic flight their planes perform 15 parabolas, each providing between 20 and 25 seconds of weightlessness. Flights are available starting from a couple of dozen locations around the world, including Singapore and the Philippines. Then you have to come back down to Earth.

PRESS ONE FOR RESUSCITATION: If you had to perform CPR to save a life would you know how to do it? Just watching a few TV shows probably won't equip you to carry it out correctly and without harming the person needing help. The Cardio First Angel doesn't need batteries or power to help you perform CPR correctly. It's a large padded button you place on the patient's chest. The design and shape of the device help ensure it's correctly positioned. Press the button to perform compressions. The button clicks when you press hard enough and clicks twice when your timing is right, at 80 to120 compressions per minute.

That's one for the office first aid kit.

INSIGHTS IN SIGHT: A holographic display from DARPA puts battlefield data over a soldier's natural field of vision, identifying friendly and enemy forces on land and air in real time. The Urban Leader Tactical Response, Awareness and Visualization device overlays data over what the wearer can see, so it doesn't interfere with their view of events. A soldier can see where other forces, vehicles, hazards and aircraft in the local environment are even when they aren't visible. The augmented reality device isn't yet even at prototype stage, so it may be a while before US soldiers are using it in the field. What you can't see can hurt you.

INSIDE SPIN: It rotates at 18,000 revolutions per minute and is small enough to fit inside a human cell. The technique used by researchers at the University of Texas relies on AC and DC electric fields to assemble the parts. The nanomotor created by the research team was able to spin continuously for 15 hours. Load the motor with biochemicals and it could be used as a way to release drugs inside cells, perhaps to control diabetes or target cancer. Or, of course, for recreational use.

SOMETHING IN THE AIR: Is plugging in your phone to charge it too much of a hassle? WattUp is a system from Energous that lets you wirelessly charge smartphones, tablets, and other small gadgets from several metres away. A transmitter with small antennas sends radio waves to a receiver attached to the phone and you can walk around and still use the phone while it charges. The energy receiver converts the radio waves to DC power to charge the device. At the moment WattUp can power two devices at once, but the company aim to eventually power more. One down side though is that charging takes about twice as long as plugging in at the wall. Still, not being tethered to the wall while charging is very convenient.

Miraz Jordan, knowit.co.nz

- NZ Herald

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