Emerging Tech

Microsoft moves from vibrotactility to ambient textures

A Microsoft patent filed in May (and published yesterday) describes a topography-changing display in which shape-memory polymers would react to light signals to change the texture of a display surface, a technology that may be used to develop tactile touchscreens or other controls.

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Inoculating our broken infrastructure

University of Newcastle researchers may have come up with a biotechnology answer to the roadway printer I posted about yesterday: bacteria modified to colonize cracks in concrete and fix ruined buildings and crumbling roadways.

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Printing out the orbital infrastructure

3-D printing is going viral. With 3-D fabrication technology at for the desktop, for LEGOs, and for nanoscale materials, it was only a matter of time before the paradigm found its way into spaceand corporate science fiction. But this promising technology still has to prove itself in terrestrial infrastructure first.

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App pitch: coffeehouse commons

Coffee isn't only a stimulant, but also a social glue and fuel for creative lives. A proposed mobile app would allow caffeinated bloggers, writers, artists, and designers to share their coffeehouse-generated work in real-time.

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The expanding Kinectosphere

Kinect hacks are emerging at a rapid pace; its hard to recall a mass-market gadget so quickly adapted to new uses. As Bruce Sterling points out, Microsoft accidentally invented a primo piece of art-installation hardware. It's this kind of DIY innovation that keeps tech feral.

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Sex-crazed cyborg-moth mind control!

Scientists at Tokyo Tech have tapped into the neurons of a male silk moth, connecting its tiny brain to a little wheeled robot. When the moths sense organs are exposed to female pheremones, the robot performs the silk moths mating dance.

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