Here in Editor Donna’s city it is trending around 95 degrees F. so some short and cool news for our Independence Day holiday weekend or week (said holiday confusingly mid-week). All below are from US Department of Defense’s invaluable Armed With Science. The first two follow up on our previous articles on robotics and batteries (see brackets). Developers should especially look at the potential uses contained in Items #3 and #4:
- Videos from developers in the DARPA Robotics Challenge [TA 18 April] These robot legs were made for walkin’
- Batteries with a bigger punch further explained: lithium-ion batteries with better electrolytes adding 30% to life and also higher voltage. Implications for civilian battery-powered devices (hello, mobile) of course. [TA 19 June] Working on Full Charge
- Not the Star Trek scanner, but getting there: Using light to scan objects at a distance is the core of the Photothermal Infrared Imaging Spectroscopy (PT-IRIS) technology developed by the US Navy for stand-off detection of explosives, illicit drugs, chemical warfare agents and biochemical warfare agents. Here’s the news: the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) is licensing this through the Technology Transfer Office. In civilian use, think of ‘intuitive home’–or cars–or better safety in assisted living or supportive housing. I See The Light.
- Cognitive fingerprinting–using biometrics, and how we interact with technology, to continuously validate our ID on a computer. This can get rid of our need to remember and use the right passwords, adding greater security to anything online. But expand ‘cognitive fingerprinting’ to everyday use and interactions as a predictor of illness or distress–to accompany motion-based sensors, for instance. DARPA’s getting Beyond Passwords Or: How I Learned To Stop Hating And Worked Without Forced Authentication
What would be nice is a smart door. One that recognises your hand/eye/face and not one where you have to place your finger somewhere specific.
It would be invaluable for people with a memory impairment who forget keys or don’t use them anymore.
There are numerous finger scanners but again you have got to learn how to use them and this can be impossible for some people as new learning is not an option.
The technology that makes yours and my life easier is actually the technology that keeps some older, vulnerable and/or disabled people living independently.