20/20 vision is no longer enough to function in this world. In the latest trend in laser eye surgeries, people are tailoring their eyesight to suit their lifestyle or profession, hoping to give themselves an edge in their respective fields.
Need better long-range vision for some friendly night-time sniping from half a mile away? Tweak it. Want one eye adjusted for distance and the other for reading? Tweak it.
Who says there's no beauty in making your computer spaz out on screen? In new book Glitch: The Design of Imperfection over 200 contributors took inspiration from those silicon freakouts to provide beautiful visuals that make the Windows BSOD look like the cold authoritarian artifact that it is.
The tricky thing about buying a bike (or anything else) for a kid is that there's a 99.9-percent certainty they'll outgrow it. The genius behind the Kilobike is that while they're between the ages of 6 and 12, the bike will grow with them.
Scientists at the University of Michigan have created an air-powered microprocessor that is able to function without an electrical power source. It runs with just pneumatic valves and a handpump that pushes air through the system. The end result is a CPU that could eventually be used in a lab-on-a-chip device aimed at developing countries where electricity is scarce.
The Space-DRUMS chamber makes use of 20 sound beams to produce materials free of container contamination. Semiconductors are especially an area of interest for the souped-up pressure cooker.
This dodecahedron-shaped device currently on board the International Space Station may resemble a landmine, but in fact it serves quite an opposite purpose: within, scientist Jacques Guigne hopes to use sound waves to cleanly manipulate a brew of ingredients into custom materials that can only be made in the unique conditions of space.
So it turns all those hybrid car owners who turn their environmentally conscious noses up have an unexpected caveat to their green-ness--their cars are sucking up rare earth metals at a disturbing rate.
Rare earth elements take up 17 slots on the periodic table, and are named not for their overall scarcity (they're actually quite common in trace elements throughout the Earth's core) but for the relatively uncommon minerals in which they were originally found; few rare earth elements exist in pure elemental form naturally.
It's the year 2023 and you're lost in a gigametropolis full of flying cars and robots who have achieved singularity. A guide literally appears before your eyes, giving you enough info about your surroundings to guide you on your way. The computerized contact lenses that Babak Parviz is developing could make this fantasy a reality.
The brain-melting concept of the Möbius strip has been used to explain complex, meaningful ideas such as time travel. But this simple, trivial music box, which uses a punch strip in the shape of a Möbius strip, might be my favorite application of the idea.
The music box will play the song once through, then plays it again upside-down, creating an endless, repeating loop of music. It may not solve the secrets of the universe--but hey--it looks so cool. Can you recognize the upside-down-and-backwards tune?
The Department of Energy just gave $100,000 to upstart company Solar Roadways, to develop 12-by-12-foot solar panels, dubbed "Solar Roads," that can be embedded into roads, pumping power into the grid. The panels may also feature LED road warnings and built-in heating elements that could prevent roads from freezing.