Archives for category: EXPERIMENTAL

Aerofex, an aerospace company from California, has developed a working prototype hover bike. According to the website Innovation News Daily, rotors on the underside of the vehicle provide lift, and the pilot controls the bike by leaning to the left and right. Aerofex has no immediate plans to commercially launch the vehicle to the public (yet?) but instead sees the technology as a test platform for military unmanned drones. Why does the military always get all the toys?

image: KeystoneUS-zuma-rex


SEE: AEROFEX

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Like a scene out of Total Recall, the BCI (brain-computer interface) has been developed to the point where they can be found in novelty or spywear stores. Scientists have taken an off-shelf version and shown it has the capability of hacking the brain and pulling details straight from your mind.
University of Oxford, California Berkeley and Geneva gathered computer science students. They were briefed as being part of a security experiment but nothing else. A series of banks, maps, PIN # and such were displayed and by following P300 brain signals, the scientists were able to deduce where they lived and their banks by reducing the random data by up to 40%.
This coupled with information-prying technologies like smartphones, energy smart meters and naturally, Facebook , reveals an increasingly disturbing capability to monitor almost everyone and the relative simplicity of more sophisticated attacks with even pedestrian technology. Food for thought.


Graphs showing performance of the BCI test using three different data-response classification techniques with the dashed line displaying the correlation of random guesswork (Image: Martinovic et al.)

Milan’s architectural firm, Santambrogiomilano, has come up with a new line aptly named, Simplicity. It is a collaboration between founder Carlo Santambrogio and designer Ennio Arosio that features iconic furniture pieces, beds, sofas and bookcases, all encased within an amazing concept home complet with architectural elements such as staircases and kitchens, all executed in ‘extraclear’ glass. As the briefing states:
‘SIMPLICITY is realized in extraclear glass by Saint Gobain, tempered and stratified, named Diamant for its
characteristics of extreme purity and brilliancy. It is interpreted in a unique way with the use of important
thicknesses (30 mm) and treated with special technical procedures to guarantee total security.’
Amazing result for the ultimate exhibitionist.




Nominated for the 2012 Mulberry Accessory Award, these exoskeleton inspired- 3D Printed shoes by footwear designer Janina Alleyne are in a class all their own. Drawn from the intricate structure and silhouette of external skeletons of marine invertebrates, creatures and insects, the designs also expands the full capacity of 3D printing to incorporate the elaborate design and fluid architecture flawlessly in a neo Art Nouveau way.
MORE AT: Janina Alleyne






Brooklyn’s own Bitbanger Labs is the brainchild of photographer meister Duncan McCloud Frazier and his compatriot jack-of-all-trades genius Steve McGuigan.
They’ve invented a remarkable eye mask that presumably helps trigger lucid dreaming (or rather the ability to control yourself and your surroundings as you dream!). Remee (REM Enhancing Eye Mask) is the specialized eye mask that is equipped with a microcontroller that flashes a series of six customizable LED light patterns when you are at the peak of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. These dim flashes appear as visual anomalies as you sleep, helping you recognize that you are dreaming and subsequently trigger lucidity. Remee’s performance can be customized and adjusted by placing its built-in light sensors in front of your monitor on their official site while you set your configurations. Oh, so MODERN!
It sounds like a portal to limitless creativity.

Kickstarter once again is proving a fertile ground and is crowd-funding this project where the two bright boys have surpassed their initial goal of $35,000 with $573,000 and counting…
Pre-order yours (for 95$+ 15$international orders) at: www.sleepwithremee




http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bitbangerlabs/remee-the-rem-enhancing-lucid-dreaming-mask/widget/video.html

An innovative approach to textile technology is unfolding with this technique that harnesses nature’s forces.
“BioCouture is a research project harnessing nature to propose a radical future fashion vision. We are investigating the use of microbial-cellulose, grown in a laboratory, to produce clothing. Our ultimate goal is to literally grow a dress in a vat of liquid…The material is nearest in feel to a vegetable leather and, like your vegetable peelings, it can be safely composted when you no longer want it.”

Suzanne Lee is Director of the project and a Senior Research Fellow at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London. She is collaborating with scientists to unite design with cutting edge bio and nano-technologies.

BioCouture is investigating the use of microbes to grow a textile biomaterial. Certain bacteria will spin microfibrils of pure cellulose during fermentation which form a dense layer that can be harvested and dried. To a sugary green tea solution they add a mixed culture of bacterial cellulose, yeasts and other microorganisms to produce a flexible cellulose mat. The bacteria feed on the sugar and spin fine threads of cellulose. As these start to stick together they form a skin on the liquids surface. After two to three weeks, when it is approximately 1.5cm thick, they remove the cellulose skin from the growth bath. They can then either use it wet to mold onto a 3D form, like a dress shape, or dry it flat and then cut and sew it into a garment.
Lee is the author of ‘Fashioning The Future: tomorrow’s wardrobe’ published by Thames & Hudson.http://www.biocouture.co.uk/




Scientists say they’re getting closer to Matrix-style instant learning
What price effortless learning? In a paper published in the latest issue of Science, neuroscientists say they’ve developed a novel method of learning, that can cause long-lasting improvement in tasks that demand a high level of visual performance.

And while the so-called neurofeedback method could one day be used to teach you kung fu, or to aid spinal-injury patients on the road to rehabilitation, evidence also suggests the technology could be used to target people without their knowledge, opening doors to numerous important ethical questions.
According to a press release from the National Science Foundation:

New research published today in the journal Science suggests it may be possible to use brain technology to learn to play a piano, reduce mental stress or hit a curve ball with little or no conscious effort. It’s the kind of thing seen in Hollywood’s “Matrix” franchise.

Experiments conducted at Boston University (BU) and ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories in Kyoto, Japan, recently demonstrated that through a person’s visual cortex, researchers could use decoded functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to induce brain activity patterns to match a previously known target state and thereby improve performance on visual tasks.

Think of a person watching a computer screen and having his or her brain patterns modified to match those of a high-performing athlete or modified to recuperate from an accident or disease. Though preliminary, researchers say such possibilities may exist in the future.

But here’s the bit that’s really interesting (and also pretty creepy): the researchers found that this novel learning approach worked even when test subjects weren’t aware of what they were learning:

“The most surprising thing in this study is that mere inductions of neural activation patterns…led to visual performance improvement…without presenting the feature or subjects’ awareness of what was to be learned,” said lead researcher Takeo Watanabe. He continues:

We found that subjects were not aware of what was to be learned while behavioral data obtained before and after the neurofeedback training showed that subjects’ visual performance improved specifically for the target orientation, which was used in the neurofeedback training.

Is this research mind-blowing and exciting? Absolutely. I mean come on — automated learning? Yes. Sign me up. But according to research co-author Mitsuo Kawato, the neurofeedback mechanism could just as soon be used for purposes of hypnosis or covert mind control. And that… I’m not so keen on.

“We have to be careful,” he explains, “so that this method is not used in an unethical way.” [Science via NSF]


A University of Exeter team has discovered a lightweight, flexible and transparent material for conducting electricity.
The new material, called GraphExeter, could transform the electronics industry with the development of wearable electronic devices, such as clothing containing computers, MP3 players and phones. GraphExeter can be used for creating windows or smart mirrors along with computerized interactive characteristics.

Graphene, a one-atom-thick substance, is the thinnest material that can conduct electricity. It is flexible as well as one of the strongest materials. For quite some time, engineers and scientists have been on the race to adapt graphene for electronics. This process has been a challenging one for them due to its sheet resistance, which confines its conductivity.

The Exeter team compressed ferric chloride molecules between two sheets of graphene in order to create GraphExeter as a possible alternative to ITO. The team is now working on creating a spray-on version of the material that can be applied onto windows, mirrors and fabrics.

Dr Monica Craciun, the lead researcher at University of Exeter, said that GraphExeter can redefine the electronics industry. He also said that the material outperforms other types of carbon-based transparent conductor utilized in electronics and can be used for different applications.

The research findings on GraphExeter are published in the journal called Advanced Materials.
By Cameron Chai
Source: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/

Nendo, the wondrous japanese group formed by Canadian born Oki Sato, will show at the London Design Week with a collection based on calligraphy. Pure line art in steel.
One can get a hold of their magic at 1%, the online store that features productions of only 100 of each design.
See more of their terrific work for Hermes, Cartier and Boffi here: NENDO

BERNDNAUT SMILDE is a prolific young Dutch artist from Amsterdam who deals with transitional spaces, corridors, staircases and well, clouds. Beautifully momentary clouds that are created through the alchemy of smoke, moisture, and spot lighting. As Smilde himself says of his installations, which were developed for the online gallery probe, give form to “physical presence found within transitional space.”

It took 300 man hours to perfect this luminous night suit by Flat Cat productions.Pro snowboarder, William Hughes took to the slopes to demonstrate it while fashion photographer/filmaker, Jacob Sutton took to behind the camera to document it. The result is ethereally captivating.
See: NOWNESS + JACOB SUTTON

I’ve always admired free spirits as the ultimate expression of life. Perhaps because I often feel the conservative constraints imposed on all of us rather acutely. Take for example the incredible fusion of Rick Owens and Michele Lamy, locked in, creatively and as a whole. A fascinating look at their dynamics and of course, their incredible works.
I have included some stills as I was not able to insert this video from “Another Mag” but have this full screen link here:
http://www.anothermag.com/video/embed/148?shareurl=http://www.anothermag.com/exclusives/rick-owens
More: Rick Owens



Scientists from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China have come up with a unique cotton material that can clean itself when left under ordinary sunlight. The fabric includes a coat of nanoparticles made from a compound of titanium dioxide, nitrogen, silver and iodine. From a test experiment, the special coating was able to remove an orange stain when exposed to sunlight for just two hours. Furthermore, the coating remained intact even after washing and drying.

Researchers Mingce Long and Deyong Wu published their findings in the American Chemical Society Journal Applied Material & Interfaces. However, it is not expected that the breakthrough invention will be hitting retail shelves anytime soon.
Jioa Tong university

In an innovative move, Dutch firm Phillips moves with the times and introduces an off-grid solution to lighting using everyday waste products…Utilizing the principles behind biological luminescence such as fireflies and deep sea creatures which provide light through bioluminescent BACTERIA. This bacteria, in theory, could be collected and mixed with kitchen and even bathroom wastes in individual pods where the reaction takes place. Further uses could fuel outdoor low-light venues like roadway edge indicators. There is no heat produced by this reaction and would not require further energy supplies. Saving the world seems just a tiny bit closer.
More: PHILLIPS


True luxury has only one color – gold. A nanometer-thin layer of pure gold now lends ties and pocket handkerchiefs that authentic gold sheen, thanks to a new Empa-developed process. The yarn, which is coated using a high-tech plasma process, is soft and easy to weave. It is also washing machine compatible. A limited number of gold ties will be placed on the market before Christmas, making a truly exclusive present. Further fashion accessories will follow in 2012.
Caption: Tie, bow-tie and pocket handkerchief made of high-tech gold fabric. Plating: 8 grams of 24 carat pure gold for 7500 Swiss Francs.

Gold radiates with a violet hue, at least when it is sprayed onto a surface atom by atom, as can be seen by looking into a plasma coating plant when in operation. This particular plant, which is about as large as a household refrigerator, can be found on the premises of the Tersuisse spinning mill in Emmen. Inside the apparatus a piece of gold is bombarded with fast moving argon ions which knock atoms off the metal surface. These gold atoms fly off and land on a polyester fiber which is slowly pulled through the machine. This is the beginning of the production process which for the first time in the world creates a textile material permanently coated with a durable layer of gold. The precious metal remains attached to the fiber even when it is rolled, kinked, woven in a loom and given a final wash.

The culmination of 10 years of research work
The textile specialists at Empa in St Gallen had been researching for ten years to find a method of finely dividing titanium, aluminium, steel, copper and silver and then allowing these powdered metals in atomic form to rain onto polyester fibers. Originally the project aimed to create silver coated fibers, for which there were ready markets. Silver coated fibers possess an antibacterial effect, something which is of interest to sock manufacturers. In addition fashion designers were seeking durable silver coated textiles. And furthermore, silver conducts electricity extremely well, making the Empa-developed fiber eminently suitable for use in various sensors and as an antistatic filter material for industrial applications.
Sooner or later the project partners had the idea that what was possible with silver might also work with gold, so in January 2010 they began work on the “Gold Fiber Project”. Nowadays production in the coating plant has reached a stable level. The first kilometer was generated in the summer of 2011 and in 2012 production is expected to increase further. Further processing of the fiber is completed by two project partners, the Weisbrod-Zuerrer AG spinning mill in Hausen am Albis and the embroidery firm Jakob Schlaepfer in St. Gallen.
The Jakob Schlaepfer company, embroiderers and manufacturers of decorative textiles, will also use the gold yarn for items in its Winter 2012/13 Haute Couture collection.

The AeroShot Pure Energy delivers a fine powder containing vitamin B and 100 mg of caffeine that dissolves instantly in the mouth. That would be the same amount of caffeine found in one large cup of coffee … without the calories or coffee breath!
Tom Hadfield from Breathable Foods mission statement is “to bring the aesthetic experience of aerosol cuisine to commercial markets.” It can even be taken on an aircraft.
see more here: AEROSHOT
With the new shots, Le Whif and AeroShot, along with the AWOL, means it’s now possible to enjoy some chocolate flavor, get yourself inebriated, then try and sober up with a jolt of caffeine – all without food or beverage actually passing your lips…

As if taking a scene from the beautiful French film, “Le Parfum” and reeling it into the 21st Century, a new chapter unfolds.
Introducing, SWALLOWABLE PARFUM, a innovative solution that permits the user to swallow a capsule and produce a fragrance that is generated from WITHIN.

Lucy McRae and synthetic biologist Sheref Mansy from Amsterdam, have produced a capsule with synthetic fragrant lipids that mimic the structure of the fat molecule found in the body, this when those lipids get metabolized by the body’s enzymes, fragrant molecules are released and excreted through the skin’s surface through perspiration. The skin acts like an atomizer for the fragrance and the resulting scent is determined by the individual: current temperature, stress, exercise or sexual arousal. Have a glimpse below:

SWALLOWABLE PARFUM® from Lucy McRae on Vimeo.

Website: http://www.swallowableparfum.com
Contact: Lucy@LucyMcrae.net

It is only fitting I pay my own respects to Steve Jobs by showing his unveiling of the very first personal Macintosh computer, especially as I am using one of its descendants as I write. It’s quite the moment.

Paypal co-founder and billionaire Peter Thiel, who is currently the Seasteading Institute’s “most generous funder has his mind on on expanding his empire. His initiative constitutes a bold move towards creating floating autonomous states. The initiative is inspired by the idea of creating cities that are free from political agendas and social construction. These “floating cities will allow the next generation of pioneers to peacefully test new ideas for government,” says the Seasteading Institute. “The most successful can then inspire change in governments around the world.” Utopian indeed.


The quiet revolution of 3-D printing is being presented alongside art at the Victoria & Albert museum in London. Funded by the Materialize factory in Belgium, it will show pieces devised through various printing methods like “laser-sintering” and “stereolithography”.
Read more: The Independent