Tired of missing your favorite sports because you're stuck in a meeting? Those woes may soon be a thing of the past. A team of researchers at Umeå University and Ericsson Research in Sweden have developed a technology synchronizing a cell phone's vibrations to a ball's movement in a field. The vibrotactile tool is designed so that a phone vibrates at different frequencies and lengths depending on where the ball is on the field, which team is kicking the ball and when a goal is being scored. A ball in midfield, for example, produces a light, short vibration, while a ball that makes it past a goalkeeper sets off a stronger and longer vibration meant to signify "Goooooooooooooal!"
Researchers have put the technology to the test already and found that their subjects could follow a game through vibrotactile sensations once they were trained on what the different vibrations meant.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.