Science & Technology

Gift Guide for Geeks

Amazon FireDo you have someone on your gifting list with particular taste in all things Geek?  If so, the Geeks have your gifting playbook depending on your level of investment (how much money do you want to spend?).  Below are some great gift ideas under $50, under $100, under $200 and over $200 but you can also check some geek-centric stores such as ThinkGeek, Hammacher Schlemmer and Sharper Image.  Enjoy!

Is 2012 the Year of the 3D Printer?

It looks like 2012 could be the year the 3D printer breaks out. As prices creep down towards $1,000 per unit, 3D printers are now within the reach of small design companies, and it may not be long before they’re in all our homes too. But is it time to buy? Here are three things to consider before becoming an early adopter of 3D printing technology.

GPS Waypoint

Gadgets we got from the Military

There are many gadgets that we’ve ‘inherited’ courtesy of the military that we take for granted yet enrich our daily lives. The US Department of Defense (DoD) has a sizable portion of its financial budget that is partially secret that goes towards R&D on cutting-edge and next-generation technology. Over the past 80 years or so, a number of current consumer technologies have stemmed either directly or indirectly from DoD-directed research and even actual products that the US military has used in the field.
Here are just 4 of some of the notable ones that we use and benefit from today.

Razer Talon – World’s First Gaming Bio-Exoskeleton

Pro-gamers seem to get faster and faster on the games they’re playing with every day that goes by, leaving us mere mortals with no chance of being able to beat them. A standard gamer can hit around 100 actions per minute (APM), and a pro-gamer 300 APM. The Razer Talon exoskeleton for your hand allows you to hit up to 3,000 APM giving anyone a chance of becoming an über-gamer.

The speed of the exoskeleton is adjustable depending on your level of competence with the game you’re playing, and the Talon even features anti-twitch technology to stop you making mistakes. Read on for more info!

Equipios x-Ar Exoskeleton Gives Humans Super Strength

The exoskeletons we see in Sci-Fi movies are usually huge whole-body structures and used for complete war. Now Equipois have the x-Ar which makes your arms stronger for use in a variety of roles. The manufacturers envision a world where the heaviest of manufacturing jobs can be carried out by both men and women, surgeons’ arms don’t falter as they do long operations, and assembly lines can be sped up.

Equipois have used their patented ZeroG technology to produce a wide selection of these machines, which they claim will pay for themselves in a year or less due to the efficiency savings they will make.

Stomach Pacemaker Reduces Food Intake

A new gadget recently approved for use in Britain, and designed in California, helps you lose weight by acting as a pacemaker to your stomach. Recently trialled in Germany and yielding successful results, this ‘stomach pacemaker’ acts in a very similar way to a heart pacemaker – when you have eaten food, the stomach pacemaker sends signals to the nerves in your stomach telling you that you are full, and you eat less.

Augmented Reality Contact Lens

Augmented Vision in a Contact Lens

Technology seems to be making advances in the blink of an eye, but who would have thought that the blink of an eye could someday power the latest technology? Apparently, researchers at the University of Washington did. They are currently creating prototypes of “augmented reality contact lenses.” In the next decade or so, these lenses could take the seemingly endless stream of data out there and display it magically right before our eyes, without need for a cell phone, tablet or PC.

The Terminator!Similar to Arnold Schwartzenegger’s character in the series of Terminator movies, the data we need would be displayed onto our visual field in a transparent way, without obstructing our view of the world around us. There are a number of interesting applications for this technology, spanning everything from the practical to our endless desire to be entertained.

Blind Man Drives Car Around Daytona Speedway

Technology for blind people is advancing rapidly – recent new discoveries have been made that offer some degree of sight through a person’s tongue, but now imagine a car that can be driven, completely independently, by someone who has little or no sight.

The National Federation for the Blind (NFB) and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, College of Engineering have teamed up to create this. The car uses ‘non-visual’ signals to tell the driver the location of obstacles, such as cars in other lanes, or cars to the rear or front. This means the car can actually be fully driven by a blind person, and doesn’t have to rely on a computer to do any of the thinking or decision making.

Google Running International Science Fair for Teens

Please note that the following is a sponsored article courtesy of Unruly Media.

Google is running another contest of an almost philanthropic nature with the aim of having teens around the world ages 13-18 compete with each in a global Science Fair.

As a competitor, you will need to create either a 2-minute video or 20-slide presentation and submit it by April 4, 2011.

There are a whole host of prizes including National Geographic expeditions, scholarships (up to $50,000), and an ‘experience’ at one of the partner organizations: CERN, Google, the LEGO Group, or Scientific American.

Take a look at the entertaining promo video that was created for the contest – it’s a Rube Goldberg machine, and you know those are always fun!

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