Electric cars are the only real option for stopping carbon dioxide emissions from the tailpipe, and thus preventing global climate change. But as of today, you can't visit your local dealer's row and drive away in an electric car. Things are changing, though, and here is a selection of new electric cars we've seen at recent auto shows.
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--Microsoft researchers on Thursday demonstrated a new, low-cost method for manipulating a digital desktop or wall display with two hands.
Called LaserTouch, the prototype is the latest invention of computer vision specialist Andy Wilson, a researcher from Microsoft Research's Redmond, Wash., campus. Wilson has worked on Microsoft's Surface computing, among other projects. But more recently he's developed a sensing technology system that would allow people to retrofit any display--e.g., a desktop or projector--so that they could use their hands, instead of a mouse, to interact with the computer.
The system uses a low-cost … Read more
The cap is designed to analyze the brain's electroencephalogram (EEG) waves, determining whether you're too fatigued to drive safely. It is just one use for a device developed by researchers at various Taiwan universities and the University of California at San Diego, who hope to expand the technology for applications in myrid other facets of everyday life.
There may come a day when telling someone to "talk to the hand" will be socially acceptable.
Designers Bhargav Bhat, Hemant Sikaria, and Priya Narasimhan are working on a prototype called "HandTalk," which essentially is a phone for the hearing impaired. This wearable glove device detects the motions and gestures used in sign language, translates them into audio, then plays it all back on a cell phone or mobile device.
Recently showcased at the Meeting Of The Minds expo at Carnegie Mellon University Center, the mobile software app can reportedly detect 32 words to date--a mere … Read more
It's one step removed from the Midas approach, but Bill Gates wants to turn nearly everything we touch into a computer.
Speaking to a crowd of CEOs gathered in Redmond, Wash., Gates showed off prototype technology he said will allow home and office walls to become computers.
While Microsoft's Surface computers are currently shipping for about $10,000, Gates said the hardware costs for such products need not be that high. Within a few years, it could be in the hands of individuals.
"We're saying it will be absolutely pervasive," Gates said. "When I … Read more
Years ago we came across a page called Deathforecast.com, which predicts how long you'll live depending on the answers to a couple dozen questions. That was morbid enough, but now there's something that does it one better by providing a constant physical reminder of one's mortality.
The "Life Index Watch" is a concept developed for a Timex competition that keeps track of your remaining days based on personal biometrics. And just to make sure you don't miss one nerve-wracking second, it's meant to be "worn like a patch on the skin,&… Read more
MTI MicroFuel Cells is hoping to use its portable fuel cells in digital cameras.
The company, a subsidiary of Mechanical Technology, announced Wednesday that it is already working with a Japanese optics manufacturer to adapt its integrated Mobion fuel cell technology for digital cameras.
Fuel cells are being explored as potential power sources for everything from data centers to SUVs. Over the years, MTI Micro has designed products for the industrial and military markets, but as of late, the company has been making a big push on the consumer electronics side, with the hope of replacing lithium ion batteries with … Read more
With $4 gas prices looking like a permanent fact of life, consumer interest in jetpacks and other forms of personal air transport might soon go from whimsy to reality. That seems to be driving the engineers at Tecnologia Aeroespacial Mexicana, whose latest project is the "Libelula Rocket Helicopter."
Don't laugh. This may look like something from a '50s sci-fi movie, but its creators have already produced a "Rocket Belt" built to custom specifications. The personal chopper could be also be more reliable than its full-size counterparts because, Dvice says, "by using tiny rocket motors … Read more
This year's auto-show season threw up a rich crop of cars that are never likely to make it to production in this decade. But who knows what features future cars will have? Solar panels? Mood-sensors? Video-game controls? Built-in Segways?
Check out our slideshow to see some of the more experimental ideas that major automakers are exploring.
France's Fetish and the Great Britain's Lightning GTS promise to be two of the fastest cars on the market. That is, as soon as the companies can get them out of the factory.
The Fetish, an all-electric sports car touted by France's Venturi for the last several years, won't be hitting the market until 2009, according to Autoblog Green. It was supposed to come out this month, and before that reports circulated that it would come out in 2005. Venturi first showed off the concept--the "first desirable electric vehicle" according to the company--at the … Read more