Avatar crime fighters, glow-in-the-dark ice cream and a bulletproof, pinstripe suit are just three of the cool techs that caught our eye this week.
A successfully funded Kickstarter project has lead to Pixelstick, a unique LED-powered light painter. It's comprised of a lightweight aluminum stick that has 198 full-color LEDs and a small SD card reader. Pair it with a camera's long exposure and anyone can creating floating, free-form artwork anywhere.
Toyota has announced a concept car that riders would stand in and steer by shifting their weight from side-to-side. The car company says the FV2 will help drivers connect to their vehicle in a similar way that a horse rider connects to her steed.
Titan Arm and James Dyson Award
Engineering students at the University of Pennsylvania have won first place in the 2013 James Dyson Award for their Titan Arm, which helps people recovering from an injury or stroke regain their upper-body strength.
Lick Me I’m Delicious
Ice cream entrepreneur Charlie Harry Francis has developed the first-ever ice cream that glows in the dark. It was developed using a protein that gives the jellyfish its bioluminescence. When licked, the ice cream lights up.
Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works is building a successor to its record-breaking SR-71 plane, which was grounded in 1998. The new aircraft, the SR-72 Blackbird, will use a hypersonic engine design that combines turbines and ramjets to reach a cruising speed of Mach 6.
For the first time, dye-sensitized solar cells, which mimic photosynthesis, are being installed on a building. The transparent, colored solar panels will be added to the SwissTech Convention Center, scheduled to open its doors in April 2014. The 1,400 solar modules work no matter what the angle of sunlight is hitting them and they also block direct sunlight, reducing the need for air conditioning.
This week, Nissan is unveiling its new sporty concept electric vehicle, the BladeGlider, at the Tokyo Motor Show.
Terre des Hommes
The virtual avatar named Sweetie looks and moves just like a 10-year-old girl. She is so convincing, that she helped a children’s rights group in the Netherlands bust 1,000 online predators trying to exploit young girls in webcam sex chat rooms.
This stylish bulletproof suit, developed by Toronto-based luxury tailor Garrison Bespoke, is made from carbon nanotubes woven into a patented fabric that’s 50 percent lighter than Kevlar. The material hardens on impact, which prevents bullets as well as knives from penetrating. It will sell for $20,000.
Lady Gaga is going drone. In a publicity stunt to promote her newest album, Artpop, the Grammy Award-winning singer donned a multi-rotor copter she called Volantis and skimmed the stage. The battery-powered dress came with six booms and a rigid bodice that kept her in place for her entrance. She told the crowd that had gathered at the building in Brooklyn’s Navy Yard:
“I wanted to make today about something even more important to me, and that something is the youth of the world. Their minds are just so boundless. They’re just so inspiring.”
“Although she is a vehicle,” she said of the dress, “she is essentially a metaphor for me. I will be a vehicle today for their voices.”
I have to wonder how far the metaphor extends, since a pilot controlled the vehicle from off stage and the contraption only rose 70 inches off the floor. Nonetheless, it’s a crazy stunt perfectly in line with previous Gaga-rific stunts.