Round-Up: the technology you missed this week

Jackson’s holographic revival

Michael Jackson became the latest deceased celebrity to be brought back to life as a hologram when he performed from beyond the grave at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards.

People who have been living under a rock for the past few years may be forgiven for mistaking the projection for the real thing; aside from a wobbling backdrop that rather gave the game away, Jackson looked utterly real as he performed Slave to the Rhythm, a new release from his posthumous album Xscape.

Source: Entertainmentwise.

A matter of light


Scientist have for the first time worked out how to create matter from light, putting an end to 80 years of speculation about whether the idea was possible. In the end the method took just a day to work out.

The technique is based on existing technology. Scientists will need a photon-photon collider to smash together two particles of light, and are now looking to build such a machine to demonstrate the method in practice.

Source: Imperial College London.

Personal space protector

Women whose commute involves a crowded subway regularly have to put up with a serious invasion of their personal space. But now there’s a solution, in the form of The Personal Space Dress.

The Arduino-powered dress features two proximity sensors that cause the skirt part of the dress to expand when anyone gets to close. Not exactly the best way to make friends on a busy commute.

Source: GMA News.

A new Surface

This week Microsoft unveiled the Surface Pro 3, which it’s calling “the tablet that can replace your laptop”. With desktop-quality specs packed into a 12in, 800g tablet, the new Surface looks impressive, although time will tell if it gets the sales.

Microsoft’s announcement, which was livestreamed on Tuesday, was peppered with needy references to Apple and the Macbook Air, showing how much the dynamic has changed between the two companies.

Source: Microsoft.

Powerful implants

Implanted medical devices this week saw a major breakthrough with the invention of a method to wirelessly transfer power deep into the body by scientists at Stanford University. The breakthrough will pave the way for significant developments in embeddable electronics, and potentially take over from drugs to treat some conditions.

With the technique, medical devices such as pacemakers can be recharged by holding a credit card-sized power source outside of the body above the device.

Source: Kurzweilai.

In Pictures: This Week’s Most Futuristic Designs


Floating City

Designs for floating cities seem to coming thick and fast at the moment, and the latest is a design from AT Design Office. The city, which was commissioned by Chinese construction company CCCC would use the company’s bridge technology to create a stunning floating habitat made from connected floating hexagons.

With land-based space becoming increasingly rare, floating cities are starting to become a serious prospect, and we’re hoping this zero-carbon, self-sustaining design is taken on. A smaller test version is being considered for construction next year, so fingers crossed!

Via Architecture & Design.


Laurel Tree 3D Printed Sandal

This 3D printed sandal, which is made from urethane with a silk ribbon tie, has just gone on sale. Available from Continuum for $250 plus shipping, the sandal is one of the first commercially sold shoes to make use of the technology.

No word yet on how comfortable it is, but the company says that the sole provides “excellent traction” to avoid slipping. Other designs are in the works, which is a good thing because the first run will be extremely limited, at only 25 pairs.

Image courtesy of Continuum.


Electree Mini Solar Pot Plant

Based on a bonsai tree, this pot plant features curved solar panels instead of leaves. It is designed for areas without mains electricity, and soaks up power during the day to offer a white or coloured light at night. It can also power up your mobile phone: a built-in usb cable will provide energy for most mobile devices.

Via DesignBoom.


Fly Citycopter

Hate your commute? How about arriving to work in style in your own personal helicopter? Designed by Brazil-based Eduardo Galvani, this helicopter runs on a 320hp electric engine that is partially recharged with roof-mounted solar panels. It’s remarkably light for a such a vehicle, weighing in at only 1,110kg, and can travel 300 miles when fully charged.

Via Examiner.


Biophotovoltaics Moss Table

Designed as a demonstration of the potential of biophotovoltaic (BPV) technology, this table features clusters of plants with built-in conductive fibres that capture excess energy given off during the moss’ photosynthesis process. Although in its infancy, the technology is tipped to be a key player in future localised energy generation, and could be eventually used to power up laptops and other devices.

Via InHabitat.