A thread recently popped up on Reddit running down some mind-blowing technology people probably think doesn’t exist in real life, but actually does.
We’ve combed it over, looking for the best of the bunch.
A 52-year-old quadriplegic woman has gained full control of a robotic arm with her mind, according to University of Pittsburgh professor of neurobiology Andrew Schwartz.
Jesus Diaz at Gizmodo explains how it was done: 'Schwartz's team implanted two 96-channel intracortical microelectrodes in Jan's motor cortex, the part of the brain responsible for controlling the movement of our limbs. The results, according to the scientists, were uncanny. They were surprised by how fast Jan took control of the robotic arm.'
Check out this video from a Kennedy Space centre tour. The cube is pulled out of a 2,200 degree oven and few seconds later it's OK to touch.
A startup called UBeam says it can charge a roomful of gadgets wirelessly using ultrasonic waves.
Its founder, Meredith Perry explained it saying, 'What happens is, the ultrasound, which vibrates the air, vibrates what's called a piezoelectric transducer. And what happens is the ultrasound will vibrate the piezocrystals, and the crystals will move back and forth, and that will generate an electrical current.'
These glasses aren't perfect stand-ins for vision, but they translate textures into an electrical stimulation that hits the tongue giving someone that can't see some information about what's in front of them. Here's an older video of the technology in action. The camera is smaller and now on glasses.
Lytro cameras take in a ton of information allowing users to adjust focal points after the fact. Give this a second to load and you can see it in action.
You can mess up people's speech by forcing them to hear their words on a slight delay. It's basically impossible to talk. The MIT Technology review says Japanese researchers built a 'gun' that could jam people's speech: 'It records a person's voice and replays it to them with a delay of about 0.2 seconds. The microphone and speaker are directional, so the device can be aimed at a speaker from a distance, like a gun.'
Make Zine has a good explanation of this stuff: 'Transparent aluminium starts out as a pile of white aluminium oxynitride powder. That powder gets packed into a rubber mould in the rough shape of the desired part, and subjected to a procedure called isostatic pressing, in which the mould is compressed in a tank of hydraulic fluid to 15,000 psi, which mashes the AlON into a grainy 'green body.' The grainy structure is then fused together by heating at 2000 °C for several days. The surface of the resulting part is cloudy, and has to be mechanically polished to make it optically clear.' It's super expensive, but it can be an effective way to build bullet proof glass.
It's not a done deal, but WiTricity is also trying to do wireless electricity. Here's Fast Company's description: 'The technology is complex and still years from perfection, but Giler says that magnetic resonance--created by coils of conductive materials like copper--could eventually replace wires as the main power source for everything in our lives.'
OK, so, these aren't exactly unknown, but that doesn't mean we should just take it for granted! The fact that self-driving cars are a reality is mind blowing.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.