HAVE YOU HEARD?

FLYING BICYCLE

In 1982, when Steven Spielberg worked movie magic to let his young heroes in “E.T.” fly into the sky on their bicycles, the idea was pure fantasy. But no more. The FBike, created in the Czech Republic by Technodat, Duratec and Evektor, allows short flights of five minutes or less. Powered by a 50Ah lithium-polymer battery, the FBike works on the road but also adds six propellers, including two contra-rotating props positioned at the front and rear for propulsion and two single propellers on the sides for stabilization. The concept was unveiled on June 12, 2013 in Prague, Czech Republic with its first successful public flight.

DETECTING STRAY CANCER CELLS

Scientists are closer to diagnosing cancers with simple blood tests instead of invasive biopsy techniques, thanks to advances from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School (Boston, Massachusetts, USA). Researchers from the two institutions have developed a microfluidic device that can detect stray tumor cells floating in the bloodstream. The breakthrough could lead to earlier detection of cancer, when the patient’s chance for survival is highest. It also will help analyze how a cancer evolves and mutates, and may pave the way for more precise treatments.

DIGITAL CONTROL WITH A WAVE OF YOUR HAND

With a wave of your hand, MYO transforms how you interact with the digital world. Thalmic Labs’ MYO armband combines sensors and a 6-axis inertial measurement unit to instantly measure electrical activity in the wearers’ muscles – from the arm to the finger – then wirelessly interact with a computer, phone or other digital device via Bluetooth. Applications include video gaming without the use of peripherals, Web browsing, navigating on iTunes, and more. Pre-orders for the second shipment are available for early 2014.

FLOATING ON A CUSHION OF AIR

Envision traveling in a transpor­tation capsule shooting down a low-pressure tube at 700 mph (1127 kph). No, it’s not a hyperactive amusement park ride. In fact, it’s a solar-powered mode of transportation utilizing an air cushion and a linear electric motor to reduce a five-hour-plus commute from San Francisco to Los Angeles, CA (USA) to 30 minutes. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, is spreading his vision of "Hyperloop” by posting his plans online and soliciting feedback on the open-source design. Hyperloop is projected to be virtually silent, cheaper than planes and trains and faster than jets.

ENTER THE WORLDS YOU WATCH

Get ready to be fully immersed in your games, movies and other entertainment experiences. Illumiroom from Microsoft uses a Kinect for Windows camera to extend the environment displayed on your television screen onto the walls and furnishings of your room, melding the real and virtual worlds for a more intense experience. The system captures the geometry of the room, then projects visuals related to what is happening on screen. Projected visuals adapt in real-time, eliminating the need for custom pre-processing of the graphics.

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