When I was a child I remember seeing advertisements for antigravity and UFO kits available via mail order. Advertised in the back of magazines these kits captured the imagination of many people for years. A simple search of YouTube will turn up dozens of examples of these types of devices in spooky action. With nothing more than the application of some electricity they will leap from the ground and sail through the air.
Photography is an art form reliant on capturing the effects of photons, now Femto photography hopes to capture individual photons in action.
MIT’s Media Labs have developed the World’s fastest camera, the Femto Camera. Able to capture images at a trillion frames per second MIT’s Femto Camera is able to see photons in motion, capturing light itself.
Presented for your viewing pleasure is the slowest slow motion in history, a billion times slow motion. Seemingly able to operate faster than the speed of light the Femto videos will blow your mind. The second video sees Ramesh Raskar present his Femto technology to TED’s conference. Sit back relax and prepare to be amazed by the life of photons.
In the world of Science and Technology three little letters on your resume can make all the difference, especially if those three letters are MIT. Massachusetts Institute of Technology – MIT – is one of the worlds leading education institutions that is also a powerhouse for research and development. Not only are MIT’s course subjects leading edge but the way courses are being delivered is going through an online revolutionary.
MIT’s latest education initiative, MITx isn’t just a platform to make their courses available online, they’ve been doing that for 10 years through the OpenCourseWare – OCW – program that has served over 2,100 courses to more than 100 million people world-wide. Instead MITx is a complete open source education platform. Other education institutions – public or private – are free to join and integrate MITx into their own education platform.
MIT has long believed that anyone in the world with the motivation and ability to engage MIT coursework should have the opportunity to attain the best MIT-based educational experience that Internet technology enables. OpenCourseWare’s great success signals high demand for MIT’s course content and propels us to advance beyond making content available. MIT now aspires to develop new approaches to online teaching.” said MIT President Susan Hockfield
Power, electrical power is the life blood of our modern world, a constant heartbeat that drives every gadget on the planet. MIT scientist have demonstrated a huge breakthrough in power, a Zippo lighter sized power station that’s three times as powerful as lithium-ion batteries and runs off a tiny cap of methanol.
The technology behind the tiny device is able to convert any source of heat into electricity. Called a Thermo-Photovoltaic system – TPV -, the Zippo generator is able to convert heat into specific frequencies of light which is used by a tuned PV cell – solar cell – to generate electricity.
While it may sound complicated, there are no moving parts, nothing to wear out and it is made of cheap materials. The team of MIT researchers have managed to produce a cheap and efficient take on the technology previously only available to NASA. Will the Zippo make a come back as every iPhones best friend, maybe.
B-Squares, a small gadget idea with big possibilities. Designed by MIT grads Jordan McRae and Shawn Frayne this is the kind of idea that feels kind of world changing. At it’s heart the B-Square system consists of a number of different types of building blocks – Squares – that can snap together to form different gadgets. Currently 6 Squares have been designed and prototyped, Solar, LED display, Battery (3 AAA), iPhone doc and a processor square called the Proto Square. A sound square is also in the works. Described as a 3D modular electronics system different Squares can are snapped together to form simple gadgets; iPhone solar charger, alarm clock, lamp, portable power. Truly brilliant though is the fact that as more Squares are developed and released new possibilities open up. The duo plans on releasing the Sound Square , an iPhone playback doc in the not so distant future.
All of the squares are a flat square panel with magnetic corners allowing the various squares to snap together. The magnet corners also do double duty as a point of contact for power and communications between the Squares, eliminating the need for plugs and connectors. The demonstration video on Kickstarter shows a solar array powering a large wall clock, charger arrays iPhone radio and many other ingenious combinations, its a must watch video.