Bounce Imaging creates a superball for first responders

bounce imaging creates a superball for first respondersIt’s an invention that could change horror movies as we know them. What if, instead of having to walk into the creepy darkness holding a flashlight with batteries that will, inevitably, give up the ghost just before you reach the Very Scary Thing that is lurking at the back of the room, you could just through a rubber ball filled with cameras into the room and see what lay in wait? Bounce Imaging, you may have just ended a classic horror trope in one fell swoop… or perhaps come up with the plot of Paranormal Activity 5.

The device is the creation of the Boston-based company, and the brainchild of Bounce Imaging founder Francisco Aguilar. He told New Scientist that he originally had the idea in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake in 2010, imagining the need for what he describes as a “reconnaissance device” with multiple cameras installed that could go where traditional devices couldn’t. The result is a ball with six cameras installed that take two photographs per second and wirelessly transmit them to a nearby device where the images are digitally reconstructed to offer a 360-degree image of the surrounding area. Alongside the cameras – which capture light in the near-infrared range – will be infrared LEDs, to allow the cameras to capture images no matter how dark the areas may be where it’s been sent to.

Even so, that’s not enough for Aguilar. He went on to say that future versions of the device may also include a Geiger counter, to allow the device to also be used to take early readings on suspected radioactivity in particular areas, making it an even more indispensable device to first responders of all stripes. Despite all of these elements being included, the device is only the size of a tennis ball (and thanks to its rubber coating, as bouncy as one as well), and also surprisingly cheap. Apparently, current costs have each device as “a few hundred dollars,” meaning that the devices won’t exactly be disposable, but are certain not irreplaceable… A plus, considering how dangerous some of the areas they may be sent into could turn out to be.

The device is still in prototype stage, but according to Aguilar, it should be ready to be beta-tested in the field by the start of 2013, when Massachusetts police and SWAT teams will start deploying it in the field. That deployment is eagerly anticipated by Bernard Hicks, a SWAT-team officer who spoke to New Scientist in an unofficial capacity, saying that “Incidents with active shooters are so volatile. Whether it’s one officer or two officers on scene, this technology gives them the opportunity to know the dangers around the corner before they get to them.”

Emerging Tech

Bottle-flipping robots may be the most millennial thing we’ve ever seen

Until drones start vaping, you're unlikely to see anything more millennial than a recent contest in Japan in which robots competed to pull off some seriously impressive bottle-flipping feats.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in November, from 'The Witch’ to ‘Dracula’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Photography

Get your Sagan on with 60 awe-inspiring photos of the final frontier

Few things instill a sense of wonder quite like the final frontier. The best space photos show off the beauty of Earth, our solar system, and the far corners of the universe. Here are our current favorites.
Emerging Tech

New simulation shows how Elon Musk’s internet satellite network might work

Elon Musk has the dream of building a network for conveying internet traffic via thousands of satellites. A new simulation created by a computer scientist looks at how feasible the idea is.
Cars

Car parts maker ZF is using drones to deliver components to its factories

ZF recently became the first entity in Germany to receive approval to use drones to deliver spare parts, and the company now uses them to deliver parts from its central warehouses to its workshops.
Emerging Tech

This fully autonomous $400 drone folds like a book, follows you like a paparrazzo

Having a drone that could follow you everywhere while taking high-quality images without crashing has been a flight of fantasy. With ZeroZero's Hover 2, not only can you have a fully autonomous 4K selfie drone, you can have it for $400.
Emerging Tech

These Alexa-stuffed retro phones don’t listen until you take them off the hook

Looking for an Amazon Echo with a cool vintage touch? Los Angeles-based Grain Design is taking old, non-working antique phones and transforming them into amazing Alexa smart speakers.
Smart Home

This alarm clock uses targeted light and sound to wake you, but not your partner

The Wake v2 isn't like your typical bedside alarm. Instead, it wakes you by shining a soft light directly into your face, thereby not disturbing the person sharing a bed with you. Pretty smart, huh?
Emerging Tech

Believe it or not, this fire-proof exoskeleton isn’t designed for space marines

A company called Levitate Technologies has developed a fire-resistant upper body exoskeleton that’s capable of lowering exertion levels by up to 80 percent when you carry out manual work.
Emerging Tech

Intel’s new ‘neural network on a stick’ aims to unchain A.I. from the internet

To kick off its first developer conference in Beijing, Intel unveiled the second generation of its Neural Compute Stick -- a device that promises to democratize the development of computer vision A.I. applications.
Emerging Tech

Frogs regrow ‘paddle-like’ limbs when placed in a bioreactor

Frogs have partially regrown amputated limbs thanks to a bioreactor at Tufts University. By jump-starting tissue repair, the bioreactor helped the amphibians regenerate a bigger, more complete appendages than they usually do.
Emerging Tech

Prepare for liftoff: Here are all the important upcoming SpaceX rocket launches

From ISS resupply missions to a host of communication and scientific satellite launches, SpaceX has a busy year ahead. Here's a rundown of some of the company's most important missions slated for the next year.