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Category: Science

20 Sep

This Camera Can Read Books Without Even Opening Them

Leave it to the geniuses at MIT to develop a piece of tech that essentially allows them to study without really studying. I’m of course talking about a camera developed by a team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that can read books without them being opened or even touched. If this X-ray vision camera sounds incredibly sci-fi in nature, you clearly underestimated the power and minds of our leading techies. The goal of the camera, however, is not to get out of the academic requirement of actually hitting the books – the camera was developed to scan books that are centuries old, which can be too delicate to touch or read without damaging them. So, just how does this...
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25 Aug

Capturing Giants: 5 Tips for Conquering California’s Coast Redwoods

The coast redwoods are the tallest trees on earth. Majestic and colossal, their 27-foot-wide trunks soar to heights of more than 350 feet, as tall as 35-story skyscrapers. Their lifespan is as humbling as their size. The largest redwood, General Sherman, is estimated to be 2,500 years old, taking root nearly 300 years before the Great Wall of China was built. Before the Gold Rush, California’s redwood forest covered more than 2 million acres, even stretching across the Santa Cruz Mountains. But by 1968, 95% of the old-growth forest had been hacked down to build and rebuild San Francisco and San Jose. If you’re in search of these giant trees, though, don’t worry. While only 4% of the virgin redwood forest...
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8 Aug

The Gear and Know-How You Need to Shoot the Perseid Meteor Shower

Space: the really awesome final frontier. Coming up on August 12th, be sure you don't miss out on the Perseid meteor shower as the Earth passes through the trail left behind by Comet Swift-Tuttle. The Perseids will be in "outburst" this year for the first time since 2009, meaning they'll be appearing at double the normal rate. And though Earth has been passing through this starry trail since mid-July, August 12th is the peak point, meaning you'll see the most meteors in the shortest amount of time - so you know it's going to be a great show. If you have big plans to head out and snag some images of this event on camera, here are the tips and...
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2 Aug

Virtual Reality Being Prescribed as an Alternative to Pain Killers

virtual reality
Virtual reality isn’t all fun and games – quite the opposite, in fact. There have been proven instances of this technology being used for a wide variety of remedying purposes, ranging from treating the PTSD of veterans to teaching people how to be more empathetic. Now, virtual reality technology is being fully embraced by some doctors for its pain remedying applications. That’s right, forget Morphine or Percocet – the latest drug of choice for dealing with and managing pain is medically customized virtual reality. Many in the medical field have turned to virtual reality for its therapeutic capabilities and applications in medical procedures, but the technology’s efficacy in mitigating pain is a new development. Recently, a study found that playing a...
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21 Jul

Teaching Empathy Through Virtual Reality

How’s this for useful? Virtual reality is a hot topic in the tech world, but most of its uses have been centered around gaming, movies/TV and other entertainment mediums. However, Stanford University is employing virtual reality in an astounding scientific manner that is actually helping people…by teaching them to be empathetic. Designing a VR environment that shows viewers the gut-wrenching circumstances that cause a virtually simulated person to become homeless, researchers at Stanford are hoping to evoke emotional reactions and responses with these life-like virtual demonstrations in efforts to shape and change the way people think and feel about these all too real human experiences. As part of Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab (VHIL), this VR experience was built to help...
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18 May

InBody Band Is a Wearable That Will Gauge Your Body Composition

InBody Band
Many of the wearables circulating the market more or less do the same things – the look of the tracker and the brand might differ, but it’s a safe bet you’ll be getting a combination of data that includes fitness tracking, distance and steps counted, calories burned, sleep activity and suggestions on how to reach and maintain your fitness goals. It’s the rare wearable fitness tracker that brings something completely new and innovative to the table these days. Feast your eyes, then, on InBody Band, a wearable body composition analyzer. To help determine and gauge a wearer’s body composition, InBody Band employs electrodes that will measure one’s heart rate, body fat, muscle mass and more. Built in electrodes in the band...
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17 May

How Studying Insects Could Help Make Drones More Autonomous

There’s a lot of buzz surrounding research conducted by a pair entomologists and the applications it could have on drones off all things. Vision researchers Emily Baird and Marie Dacke at the Department of Biology at Lund University in Sweden have been studying how insects navigate their way through dense areas of vegetation. Through their observations, they believe they have cracked a system insects utilize that could be applied to drones, making them more autonomous. Adapting this system would allow drones to fly of their own accord without any human control and to adjust their speed to their environment in order to avoid obstacles in their path. So, what do insects have to do with all of this? Well, it turns...
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13 May

Behold the Wearable E-Skin Display

They say the things that matter are normally skin deep, but scientists at the University of Tokyo have decided to shove that old adage off a cliff with the latest, advanced piece of tech they’ve created. Introducing E-Skin, an ultra-thin electronic film that is taped to a wearer’s skin and is completely revolutionizing the world’s notions of what constitutes as . This extremely flexible film doubles as an electronic display unit, offering countless applications and redefining what it means to actually wear technology. “What would the world be like if we had displays that could adhere to our bodies and even show our emotions or levels of stress or unease,” posits Professor Takao Someya in a press release announcing E-Skin. “In...
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5 May

Stanford Builds a Wind Tunnel Studying Bird Flight in Efforts to Create Better Drones

As it turns out, looking for more advanced technology may not be the key to making better drones after all. Rather, researchers at Stanford University are looking to biology – specifically, the flight patterns and behavior of birds. Time and time again, wind has proven detrimental to drones. All it takes is a swift gust of wind to knock a drone completely off its course, or even ground it. Birds, on the other hand, thrive in the wind, adjusting their flight pattern to glide to more majestic heights when things get a little blustery. With all this in mind, Stanford has created a one-of-a-kind wind tunnel in order to study how birds fly in order to adapt their findings into making...
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5 May

SpaceVR Boldly Sets Out to Film Virtual Reality in Space

Overview 1
SpaceVR has been at the forefront of virtual reality filming in space. Just last year, the company implemented a Kickstarter campaign to send a virtual reality camera to the International Space Station. They couldn’t acquire the necessary funding to do so, but no matter. SpaceVR has bolder plans in mind – filming their own virtual reality content from a satellite, essentially giving the company bragging rights to the world’s first virtual reality satellite camera. With sights set on launching this virtual reality satellite as early as 2017, SpaceVR is re-upping their Kickstarter campaign and seeking outside seed funding in order to make their ambitious VR project come to fruition. The switch from sending a camera to the ISS and simply building...
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