Category: Technology



 

Hitachi has developed a way to store digital data that can last up to hundreds of millions of years and can withstand temperatures of up to one thousand degrees.

Announced Monday in Tokyo, the device is made out of glass quartz (the same stuff they make laboratory beakers out of) is only 2 millimetres thick and can store up to a CD’s worth of information. Hitachi’s amazing new technology holds the data in binary form by creating dots inside the thin sheet of virtually indestructible glass. By using binary, no matter how advanced computers become, the data will always be readable.

The chip, which looks like something you’d never want stuck in your shoe, is waterproof and fireproof protecting against possible natural calamities, such as fires and tsunamis. With the proliferation of digital media in the 20th century, Hitachi is addressing a major concern of how to better protect our precious files which in many CDS and hard drives will only last between 10 to 20 years. In other words, how else will a future generation of invading hybrid aliens be able to enjoy the sweet sounds of Kenny G or the cool beats of Jay Z?

The square currently has up to 4 layers of dots, which can hold 40 megabytes per square inch and they say that adding more layers and more dots is no big deal at all. The device currently has no retail plans, but hopes to by the year 2015. Hitachi says, in the meantime, museums and religious institutions may use the chip. This all reminds me of a quote by the writer and thinker Steward Brand that goes, “The present moment used to be the unimaginable future.” Imagine what they’ll think in a hundred million years.

Hitachi plans to give more information on the technology at the amazingly sci-fi sounding International Symposium on Optical Memory that will be held in Tokyo, Japan on September 30.

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clip_image002Since the release of the first mobile phone in 1983, mobile technology has come a long way. Can you remember those enormous bricks you used to carry around in your pocket? I certainly do, I remember how primitive some of the earlier models of mobile phones were and how astounded we were by the ability to send an SMS message and phone our friends and family on a mobile device. We then went through a period of mobile phones getting smaller and smaller right up to the point where you could barely hit the correct buttons, the smaller the device you had the more status it gave you. Now we’ve seen an explosion in functionality since the arrival of smartphone technology. We now have small devices that manage to combine digital cameras, music players, internet connectivity and video recorders all in one handsets. We have now reached a point where our mobile phones are more like mini computers than phones.

The amazing rise in popularity of smartphones, which have now gone from a business domain to everyday use, has highlighted the importance of mobile technology in the modern age. People are no longer content with owning and carrying numerous different devices or only being able to perform functions in a certain place and time.Now more than ever, customers are demanding all-in-one devices that can be used anywhere and everywhere.As an owner of an Android device myself I am literally gobsmacked by the sheer number of functions my phone boasts. With companies such as Google, Apple (with the iPhone), HTC, Samsung, Nokia, Microsoft and many others developing smarter handsets at a rapidly increasing pace there is just one question to ask. What does the future hold for mobile phones?

We’ve compiled this guide to the directions the technology may take.

Phones dominating our lives

What could the phones of tomorrow possibly look like? What will we be able to do with the phones of the future? Predictions appear somewhat straight out of a sci-fi movie or imagination! Future technology will enable mobile phones to literally get under our skins, dominating our lives, thanks to skin implants. Unlike today’s phones, experts believe future mobiles will be broken into components, capable of operating as assistants to shield us from overloads of information.

Well one thing is for sure, we’ll continue to see this integration of online services and other hardware. How many of us now plug our phones into our stereos and TVs to access our music and video collections, and how many of us do most of our web browsing on our phones? The truth is we’re all spending more and more time on our phones because our phones enable us to complete more of our daily tasks. As we’re currently developing newer efficient screen technologies it makes sense that our mobile phones in the future will have even smarter screen capabilities. We may not even need to touch the screens in the future as cameras and sensors now have the ability to recognise a series of hand gestures. The phones in the future are also likely to have better voice recognition capabilities, who knows, your phone may even have a programmed personality and talk back to you, reading you the news, your messages and also the weather. We will probably begin to see holographic 3D technology being incorporated fairly soon providing us with a 3D experience without the need for glasses, and we’ll also no doubt see resolutions grow and grow. The iPhone 5 already has stunning resolution with the retina display so imagine a resolution 3 or 4 times bigger.

Unlike today, we will spend less time fidgeting with our phones, as smarter advanced technology takes over. Smarter phones will have the power to buy, sell and generally take decisions at our behest. As technology advances, humanity will spend less time on desktops, better manage time and save money. Phones may even help save lives in future.

 

Another development we’re likely to see in the next few years is the flexible screen. Sony has already developed this technology and as prices of production decrease we can expect to see a new wave of development in mobile telecommunications. Imagine being able to roll out the screen from your phone so it is closer to the size of a tablet but can be rolled back to fit in your pocket. This kind of technology really does have the potential to make our laptops and desktops obsolete. As screens become more flexible developers are provided with a whole new avenue of potential options. Physical designs of mobile phones will really evolve and we could start to see a whole range of weird and wonderful designs. We could even see phones become fashion accessories as the super flexible screens would be able to display any image you wish. Imagine a phone that could be wrapped around your wrist and used as either a bracelet or a watch that can be customised to look like whatever you want it to.

As technologies continue to develop I’m sure we’ll see the phones of the future incorporating new advanced technologies to enhance their design and usability. Some of the phones currently in development are being designed to incorporate projection technology, so in theory we could begin to see our TVs and projectors being replaced by mobile phones. As well as projection capabilities advances in infrared keyboard projection technology could provide mobile phone users the ability to project a light based keyboard onto a surface which could be used like a regular sized PC keyboard. The problems experienced by people with large fingers would be a thing of the past.

If we look a long way into the future it makes sense that our phones will incorporate highly advanced technologies such as nanotechnology allowing your phone to do tasks such as clean itself, or scan your food for harmful toxins. With nanotechnology the options would literally be endless in developing mobile phone technology. As well as nanotech another conceptual technology for the future of phones is translucent photonic circuitry. Imagine your phone being nothing more than a translucent block with a high resolution display taking all of the energy it needs to run from its surrounding environment. These technologies are being developed right now and I have no doubt we’ll see these in the future. There are an infinite number of potential avenues for the mobile telecommunications industry to explore. I have only covered a few in this article.

Control Interfaces

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There are numerous different control systems proposed for the future and it will be a while before we discover which one will reign supreme. However, we have had a glimpse of the potential future with existing voice command technology. Being able to control your entire phone just by speaking to it may seem a little strange at first, but we may soon see everyone strolling around seemingly talking to themselves if the technology really takes off. If you don’t like that idea, then developments in touch screen technology may also point to a different future.

Phones that employ three dimensional screens, that can move and adjust to touch and what’s being displayed may be an option. This would also open the door for screens that could display texture; a picture of a rock would be rough, while silk incredibly smooth and so on. There is the potential for phones that are nothing but one big touch screen, on which you could move items anywhere.

Whatever the future of mobile phones, we can count on witnessing some extraordinary technological developments.

Mini gadgets

Future phones will be mini gadgets, the size of a candy bar. Tablets will be broken down into components and 3D, augmented reality glasses will offer quality display. As for the audio, your earring stud will effectively do! Future technology may seal the gap between real and virtual with a complete physical interface to the digital and virtual worlds.

Emerging technologies around mobile telephony already promise an interesting future, for instance the use of biometrics to monitor ailments, using mobile phones to monitor mood and provide countering alternatives etc.

Whereas such predictions may be hard to make, the fact that mobile telephony has experienced a boom like no other in less than a decade means more data is being mined that will lead to cutting edge technology to produce even smarter phones.

What do you think about the future of mobile phones? Do you think we’re going to see some significant developments in this industry or will it evolve into something completely different? Maybe you don’t see any point in advancing the technology any further. Whatever your thoughts are on this I’d love to hear them. Please feel free to leave a comment.

(Credits:inquid, thefuturist, technected)

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                       Advances in delivering and storing electricity are crucial to the future of electric cars and otherwise reducing reliance on energy produced from burning fossil fuels. Yet a powerful means of running electronics that can charge and discharge quickly while also storing large amounts of energy has long eluded scientists.
This predicament could be changing, thanks to new research. A team from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and Egypt’s Cairo University describe in the March 16 issue of Science a new laser-based technique for making flexible, durable and highly conductive electrochemical capacitors—also known as ultra capacitors or supercapacitors—out of graphene. Electrochemical capacitors handle frequent charge/discharge cycles well but have been unable to store lots of energy. (Lithium-ion and other conventional batteries can store large amounts of energy but have short life cycles and are filled with hazardous chemicals known to catch fire under certain conditions.)

                       Electrochemical capacitors made using graphene—a one-atom-thick sliver of graphite—began showing potential to boost storage capacity a few years ago. Individual graphene sheets create a larger surface area than when they are stacked together as a piece of graphite. This larger surface area increases energy storage capacity. Yet the strong electrostatic attraction between graphene sheets makes graphene a difficult material to work with because it tends to cause them to stack back together into their original graphite form.
The researchers, led by UCLA Ph.D. candidate and Cairo lecturer Maher El-Kady and Richard Kaner, a professor in UCLA’s Chemistry & Biochemistry and Material Sciences & Engineering departments, found a way to avoid this re-stacking. They covered an ordinary compact disk with a sheet of plastic, coated that plastic with graphite oxide and used a LightScribe DVD optical drive to locally heat the coating to turn it into a graphene film that can store energy in a highly-reversible electrical form important for many present and emerging applications.

                      Electrodes made from laser-scribed graphene can also be bent without any obvious change in their electrical properties, the researchers say. This holds promise not only for improved electrochemical capacitors but also for flexible gadgets, such as roll-up computer displays and keyboards as well as wearable electronics. Such thin, highly flexible energy storage devices could lead to fabric electrochemical capacitors that store harvested body movement energy, potentially useful for making garments or military uniforms with embedded electronics, observes John Miller, president of JME, Inc., a Beachwood, OH, firm that offers engineering, performance testing and other services to electrochemical capacitor makers, in a commentary accompanying the Science report. Imagine car seats that heat up without a driver needing to flip a switch or electronic wallpaper that could change patterns or alter its brightness depending upon lighting conditions, Miller adds.

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Graphic demonstrating graphene’s ability to store electrical energy through the interaction with ions in an electrochemical capacitor courtesy of Science/AAAS

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                                                                                         Over the past few years there has been an explosion of graphene-related news being reported throughout all avenues of media yet many people are unaware of what graphene is and why there is so much fuss over this mystery material. So, what is graphene?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              418067_532031183489218_1803110783_nAlso referred to as two-dimensional (2D) graphite, graphene is a planar mono-layer of tightly-packed carbon atoms arrayed into a honeycomb lattice (think of an ultrathin sheet of chicken wire). Graphene also serves as the basic building block of graphitic materials by being wrapped up into 0D fullerenes (a ball), rolled into 1D nanotubes, or layered into 3D stacks. Aside from being one of the thinnest, lightest, and strongest materials known, graphene is attractive to materials scientists and electrical engineers because of its unique electrical properties as a semi-conductor. Researchers have already exploited the unusual but versatile properties of graphene to build electronic components such as Nano transistors and ultra capacitors that may soon replace the current larger silicon-based ones.
                                                                                           Discovery As it’s known today, the discovery of graphene is often attributed to Andre Geim and colleagues following their characterization of the material as a mono-layer in a 2004 ">Science publication. Historically, however, graphene was considered as “academic material” (i.e., it had no practical applications) and had been extensively studied since the 1960s but only in the multi-layer form. After the 2004 study in which Geim et al. were able to isolate mono-layer graphene by using adhesive tape to repeatedly exfoliate layers of a graphene crystal to a single atomic plane, the promising properties of 2D graphene has led to a research boom in the fields of materials science and condensed-matter physics. Although numerous methods (notably epitaxial growth on silicon carbide or metal substrates) for producing graphene have been developed albeit in small and/or “impure” quantities, it is expected that graphene production and application will take quantum leaps in a few short years.
                                                                                          

 

 

 

                                                                                 Applications The potential applications of graphene to electronic devices are seemingly limitless. Here are a few that have already been developed:

Transparent and flexible touch-screen organic LED (OLED) displays Researchers at Stanford University have successfully developed brand new concept of organic lighting-emitting diodes (OLEDs) with a few nanometer of graphene as transparent conductor. This paved the way for inexpensive mass production of OLEDs on large-area low-cost flexible plastic substrate, which could be rolled up like wallpaper and virtually applied to anywhere you want.

 

Anti-bacterial paper packaging Researchers from Shanghai University said it had developed two water-based dispersible graphene derivatives can “effectively inhibit the growth of E. coli” that have minimal toxic effects on harming cells – so-called cytotoxicity.

Higher-capacity and faster-charging batteries Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have created a graphene and tin Nano scale composite material for high-capacity energy storage in renewable lithium ion batteries. By encapsulating tin between sheets of graphene, the researchers constructed a new, lightweight "sandwich" structure that should bolster battery performance.

Memory devices Hailed as the new "wonder material," graphene is being tapped by an international research team to help overcome issues associated with increasing the storage density and speed of electronic memory devices.

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                                                                                           Soon hospitals will be gifted with robotic workers who will have the strength to lift a disabled patient from bed. The robotic workers will be manufactured by Toyota. The mechanical health workers have been designed to meet the growing heal the related problems of aged population.
It is for the very first time when robotic health workers are being designed for providing care to elders. It has been informed that the workers thus designed will help elders in getting up from bed and walking. The thought of manufacturing health workers was sparked from the bitter truth of shortage of medical staff.
                                              

                                                The demonstration of the robotic worker was given by Eiichi Saitoh, a Professor at Rehabilitation Medicine. Eiichi Saitoh has a paralyzed leg. While demonstrating the usefulness of the robotic worker he showed as to how the worker can bring a change in the life of disabled patients.

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