What if tobacco could grow fuel in its leaves?
As far-fetched as that sounds, a group of scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab is testing the limits of genetic engineering to make the widely grown tobacco plant a carrier for hydrocarbons.
Scientists will be at the ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit this week to discuss the project, which received a $4.8 million grant over three years. The grant fits ARPA-E's mission of funding research that is high-risk but with a potential for a breakthrough.
Biofuels or biochemicals are typically made by growing plants and then converting that biomass into … Read more
Remember the Board of Awesomeness, the Kinect-controlled motorized skateboard from CES? Well, it just got more awesome.
The creator of this high-tech board, Chaotic Moon Labs, has come up with a new version called the Board of Imagination that works by reading your brain waves. That's right, a mind-controlled skateboard. You simply imagine where you'd like to go and how fast you want to get there, and the Board of Imagination will take care of the rest.
It's powered by the same 800-watt electric motor and Windows 8-enabled Samsung tablet as the Board of Awesomeness, but it … Read more
What does it feel like to chop down a tree? Or walk a narrow plank suspended above a deep pit? Stanford University's Virtual Human Interaction Lab can take you there.
Professor Jeremy Bailenson has created a thoroughly convincing virtual-reality environment at the Stanford lab. But what makes it feel so real? The lab uses technology to provide sensory feedback in a couple of different ways. There are devices called "butt-kickers" under the floor that make it shake, 22 speakers provide audio input, and, lastly, there's the head-mounted display that offers a stereoscopic view of the virtual … Read more
Much of the investment world is about relationships, says Ryan Spoon, a venture capitalist with Polaris Ventures and co-founder of Dogpatch Labs.
Dogpatch Labs was founded in 2008 as a place where early-stage startups could innovate. Entrepreneurs share work space, but more importantly it's a place where they can interact with each other and share knowledge, says Spoon.
There are no contracts or commitments for the startups participating in Dogpatch. The upside from an investment perspective is that Polaris gets a first look at startups early on. SmartPlanet visited Dogpatch Labs in Palo Alto, Calif., its newest office, to … Read more
This week, we pass around Sony's new PlayStation Vita for some hands-on testing, check out HP's newest Beats Audio laptop, and debate the best and worst Valentine's Day gadget gifts.
Nest Labs today said it will "vigorously defend" itself from a patent infringement lawsuit filed by thermostat giant Honeywell.
The startup issued a statement two days after it got hit with the suit along with Best Buy, which sells its smart thermostat. The lawsuit seeks damages and an injunction to halt the sales of Nest's Learning Thermostat.
Nest Labs' statement from today is:"We at Nest are proud of creating products that bring true innovation to home efficiency and we are continuing to innovate and bring products to market. The Nest Learning Thermostat is already making … Read more
As CNET's two-man HDTV reviews team gears up to take on the panels of 2012, we thought we'd pause to give you a taste of the place where the magic of evaluation happens: our lab. We just vacuumed and we're pretty proud of the results. … Read more
This week, Ty demos Sony's strap-on 3D visor, which we've dubbed the "Headman," while Scott shows us how the OnLive Desktop brings cloud PC computing to the iPad. Also, check out a cool new laptop backpack, and find out what our favorite MacBook Air substitutes are.
Honeywell today filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Nest Labs and is seeking to stop sales of Nest Labs' high-profile thermostat.
The lawsuit claims that Nest Labs infringes seven Honeywell patents. The longtime thermostat maker is seeking damages and is trying to prevent Nest Labs and Best Buy, which is also named in the suit, from selling Nest Labs' Learning Thermostat.
Honeywell said Nest infringed patents dealing with user interface control and other advanced features. "We are focused on upholding the integrity of the hard work and development our company has put into its home comfort and residential control … Read more