Archive February 2020

Google’s next ‘Project Jacquard’ with EA and Adidas

Project Jacquard is Google’s vision of embedding computing in clothes, bags and accessories. The idea is to bring touch-sensitive fabric to the mainstream. The software giant first showed the Jacquard fabric at Google I/O 2015.

The first product under the ‘Project Jacquard’ was the smart jacket made by Google and Levi’s. It came with Bluetooth and conductive threads to communicate with a smartphone app. The jacket was expensive at $350, and it never made a splash in the market.


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Printing in color with photoswitchable polymers

Now, Haifeng Yu and his colleagues from Peking University have introduced a photo-responsive element — an azopolymer — that allows the imprinting of nanopatterns in a novel, room-temperature lithographic process.

The team’s new photosensitive polymer contains a structure called azobenzene, which switches between two possible conformations — termed trans and cis — when irradiated with light. Switching between the two leads to a straight or bent configuration, and when attached to a polymer backbone causes mechanical changes, such a hardening, in the polymer.

During the fabrication process, the azopolymer layer was first liquefied using UV light and then used to coat a flexible plastic surface. 

3D Printed Underwater Scooters

For the first time ever a consumer water sports mobility device will be 75% additively manufactured (AM) with serial-produced, custom 3D-printed parts: 

The material is BigRep’s Pro HT, an easy-to-use filament designed for end-use applications. With a softening resistance of up to 115 °C, it offers a significant increase in temperature resistance (compared to average PLA), and minimal warping and shrinkage, which makes it perfectly suited for marine environments. As a material derived from organic compounds, Pro HT is biodegradable under the correct conditions, CO2 neutral and environmentally friendly.

The underwater scooter, which pulls the diver attached to it forward through the water, is an environmentally friendly, emission-free and low-noise method of exploring marine life without disrupting the eco-system. AMAZEA is an agile underwater scooter based on the “catamaran principle” and replicating a dolphin’s special body ergonomics that enable faster movement.

Researchers at Penn State and Purdue University developed new materials for improved single-atom catalysis and future electronics

When bonding noble metals to 2-D materials, interfaces matter

The materials, based on two-dimensional transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) that include disulfides, diselenides and tellurides, have a variety of interesting properties that scientists would like to exploit, especially for next-generation electronics and catalysis.

The team deposited the noble metals gold and silver on the two-dimensional TMD substrates and studied how the metals formed and grew on the TMD surfaces. In every case but one, the metals formed zero-dimensional nanoparticles, as theory predicted. But in the case of silver deposited on ditellurides, the silver formed a single atom layer coating the entire substrate.

7 Amazing Examples of Projection Technology

Although projection mapping is a relatively new term, the first public example the technique can be traced back to the 1960s when Disneyland opened its Haunted Mansion ride in 1969.

Since then the technology has evolved to new heights. Over the past decade, head-turning projection mapping has now become the go-to for every building opening, event or occasion.

In the past few years, we’ve seen new ways for the technique to be used. Applications in the military, the booming wearable tech industry and extensive prospects for a range of businesses in every sector offer new opportunities for harnessing its power.

We’ve picked our favorite examples of projection mapping and display technology, from a real life-invisibility invisibility cloak to interactive water slides.

Oppo Smartwatch’s Purported 3D Glass Screen Live Photos Surface

In December last year, Oppo said it would be investing a lot of money into R&D and also expanding its wearables portfolio, to include smartwatches in 2020. We’ve been hearing rumors since then about Oppo’s upcoming smartwatch and we even have an official render of what it could look like, courtesy Oppo VP Brian Shen. The latest leak involves live photos of what’s reported to be the 3D glass covering for the smartwatch. The shape of the panel looks similar to the render shared previously, so there is a chance it could be the real thing. Oppo’s new smartwatch should debut alongside the Find X2, which is reportedly launching on March 6.

Three images showing the new 3D glass was posted on Slashleaks, as reported by Gizmochina. The images show someone holding the rectangular glass panel with a thick black border around it. The 3D shape is visible from these photos and it looks very similar to the render shared by Oppo VP Brian Shen, back in January.

Earlier this month, Shen teased another photo of the Oppo Watch this time, shrouded in darkness with just a portion of the display and the watch hands visible. He also mentioned that it would be a “game-changer,” that could hint at the 3D glass design of the watch. The poster of the images on Slashleaks mentioned that it would have the same hyperboloid screen as the upcoming Oppo Find X and that, such a screen was quite difficult and expensive to manufacture.

We think Oppo will unveil its smartwatch during the launch of the Find X2. It was supposed to have taken place at MWC 2020 but has been pushed back to March 6 most likely. We might see more hardware announcements during the launch next month.

Huawei Mate Xs Foldable Phone With Kirin 990 Chip, Redesigned Screen Launched: Price, Specifications

Huawei Mate Xs on Monday made its debut as the Chinese tech giant’s second foldable smartphone. It will be the company’s first such device to be available internationally, competing in a niche category with new models from Samsung and Motorola. Huawei’s first foldable phone – Mate X – never made it out of China. Huawei Mate Xs comes with the company’s in-house Kirin 990 chip, quad rear camera setup, and Android with EMUI 10.

Smart contact lens

A new “smart” contact lens is designed and developed by a team from the Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology (SIAT) at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The prototype lens is made of a biocompatible hydrogel which is in turn composed of a polymer known as poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate), or pHEMA for short.

The polymer’s nanostructure changes in reaction to moisture levels by changing color.

LED Skylights to Improve Windowless Offices

Sunshine keeps us humans happy and positive, most of the time anyway. So when you find yourself stuck indoors, in a dark and soulless space, your energy levels can drop quite dramatically, quite quickly. 

To counter such low feelings, as well as boost productivity, Mitsubishi created the Misola LED skylight. These LED panels look like skylights, so you can attach them to ceilings or walls, and are meant to simulate the effect of the Sun moving across the sky.


Technology to detect cancers with one drop of blood

A new, safe, and quick method for detecting 13 different kinds of cancers has been developed by Toshiba Corporation with a 99% accuracy rate and only requires one drop of blood for the process.

The method works by examining the types and concentration of microRNA molecules that are secreted into the bloodstream from the cancer cells.

The diagnosis method was developed together by the National Cancer Center Research Institute and Tokyo Medical University.