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Latest by Luke Dormehl

Woman holding the OMEGA electronic starting pistol.

Quantum clocks and e-pistols: The ultra-precise timekeeping of the Tokyo Games

In the Olympics, a single microsecond can mean the difference between winning and losing a race, so timekeeping systems need to be outrageously accurate.
UC Berkeley search and rescue robot on bricks

This cockroach-inspired rescue bot could save your life one day

Despite being the size of a cockroach, UC Berkeley's clever new rescue robot could help save humans buried in rubble. Here's a look at how it works.
Relativity Space CEO, Tim Ellis, standing next to an enormous 3D printing arm that has produced a rocket component.

Meet the startup aiming to outshine SpaceX with reusable, 3D printable rockets

SpaceX has made some huge strides when it comes to launching an recovering reusable rockets, but Relativity Space wants to take the idea a step further
mschf dead startup toys

The most infamous failures in tech history, immortalized as desk toys

Thanks to the mischievous NYC-based art collective MSCHF, you can now purchase small-scale replicas of some of Silicon Valley's most egregious failures
Timo Betz of University of Münster.

This outrageously powerful microscope is made of LEGOs and smartphone lenses

Designed by a German biophysicist, this powerful Lego-based microscope is meant to be cheap and accessible enough for anyone to build, regardless of budget
MIT Knitted Keyboard II

MIT Media Lab’s new knitted keyboard showcases the power of smart textiles

Despite the fact that it's made entirely out of soft, pliable fabrics, MIT's knitted keyboard is even more expressive and capable than a normal keyboard.
Star Wars Pinball Lifestyle

Newfangled nostalgia: How Arcade1Up revamped retro gaming

Arcade1Up's modern retro arcade cabinets are selling like hotcakes. Why? Because their thoughtful modern upgrades don't compromise the old-school arcade feel.
Robot sand worm hawkes uc santa barbara

Part Terminator, part Tremors: This robotic worm can swim through sand

Remember the "Graboid" worm monsters from Tremors? Well, thanks to some brilliant engineering, there's now a robotic version that can burrow through sand.
brain network on veins illustration

Here’s what a trend-analyzing A.I. thinks will be the next big thing in tech

The "technology intelligence engine" uses A.I. to sift through hundreds of millions of documents online, then uses all that information to spot trends.
volocopter singapore tests 2019 volocopter2

The future of mobility: 5 transportation technologies to watch out for

From autonomous vehicles to flying taxis, the future of mobility and transportation is set to change dramatically in the next few decades. Here's a preview
illuminarium spacewalk

Meet the Illuminarium: The multisensory theater that makes IMAX look prehistoric

In addition to sights and sounds, the interactive Illuminarium exhibit can also produce specific smells, vibrations, and environmental sensations like wind.
drone pilot meth smuggling matrice 600

Ingenious new search and rescue drone finds people by listening for screams

Rather than relying on expensive and unreliable thermal cameras, this new search and rescue drone uses an array of microphones to zero in on cries for help.
HOLOPLOT Applications Darkmatter GRID

Who needs headphones? Holoplot can beam audio directly to your ears from afar

Thanks to a technique known as beamforming, it's possible to selectively deliver personalized audio directly to a single listener -- and only that listener.
Mayflower Autonomous Ship alone in the ocean

IBM’s A.I. Mayflower ship is crossing the Atlantic, and you can watch it live

IBM's autonomous, A.I.-powered ship is currently on its way across the Atlantic Ocean -- and thanks to some amazing tech, you can watch the journey live
Marty the Grocery Store Robot

The future of automation: Robots are coming, but they won’t take your job

The emergence of automated robots will likely not be the job killer for humans that many people fear.
ai religion bot gpt 2 art 4

Read the eerily beautiful ‘synthetic scripture’ of an A.I. that thinks it’s God

Travis DeShazo fed an A.I. algorithm all of the world's major religious texts, and then trained it to spit out biblical-sounding synthetic scripture.
Oculus Quest VR Headset

Analyzing the most disastrous and hilarious VR fails, for science

In an effort to improve virtual reality systems, researchers in Australia and Denmark analyzed a huge collection of VR fail videos on YouTube to find insights.
Kelekona eVTOL passenger flying over city

Forget drone taxis. This startup is building a 40-seat drone bus

There are dozens of startups out there racing to develop drone taxis for passenger air travel, but Kelekona says they aren't thinking big enough
Nose Zapping Wearable Tech

Smell-O-Vision: This nose-zapping wearable simulates smell using electricity

Digital reproduction of sights and sounds is pretty common, but thanks to a new invention, it might soon be possible to digitally simulate smells.
internet 18th century style map

This is the entire internet, visualized as an 18th-century map of the world

If all the websites on the internet were visualized as countries, with their sizes scaled in accordance with user traffic, this is what the map would look like.
Robotic Third Eye Minwook Paeng

Absurd new ‘third eye’ wearable watches the world so you can stare at your phone

Minwook Paeng wants to put a cyclops-like extra eye in the center of your forehead. Why? To make a point about our unhealthy relationship with technology
small health tracking chip shown inside the tip of a hypodermic needle

Beyond wearable tech: This injectable chip tracks health from inside your body

Tracking health with wrist-worn wearable devices is relatively common, but soon you might be able to do so via a chip implant.

This startup wants to deepfake clone your voice and sell it to the highest bidder

Veritone has the ability to clone your voice using deepfake technology, and it says the potential uses of the tech are virtually endless.
brain with computer text scrolling artificial intelligence

The future of A.I.: 4 big things to watch for in the next few years

Artificial intelligence has progressed in leaps and bounds over the past decade. What's in store for the next one? Here are four things to keep an eye on.

Google shows off its amazing new Quantum A.I. Campus

At Google I/O, the company announced its new Quantum A.I. Campus, a Santa Barbara, California, facility which will advance Google’s considerable quantum ambitions.
LaMDA model

Google’s LaMDA is a smart language A.I. for better understanding conversation

At Google I/O, the search giant showed off its new A.I. language model that could make dialogue with machines more natural.

Roving surveillance bots are coming to our cities. Luckily, they’re here to help

By equipping sidewalk-roving delivery bots with additional sensors, urban planners are hoping to capture useful data on the health of their cities
brain network on veins illustration

A.I. doesn’t usually forget anything, but Facebook’s new system does. Here’s why

Most A.I. systems are designed to remember absolutely everything they learn. But that's not always ideal, so Facebook decided to build one that forgets
Nextiles Fabric

Future fabric: Meet the cutting-edge textiles that could redefine wearable tech

Fitness trackers and smartwatches are one thing, but this futuristic fabric from Nextiles could lead to a whole new genre of wearable tech.
Optimus Ride using lidar.

How crowdsourced lidar could give your car X-ray-like superpowers

Currently, self-driving cars can only see as far ahead as their onboard sensors can scan. But what if they could use the sensors in the car ahead of them too?
Generated Venice cities

Algorithmic architecture: Should we let A.I. design buildings for us?

For most of human history, architecture has been a human activity. Now, we can do it with algorithms. But should we?
huawei matepad pro 5g hands on features price photos release date m pencil stylus

Tracing the history and evolution of the stylus

Styluses used to be no more than sticks that you could use to interact with a touchscreen, but in the past couple decades, they've evolved considerably.
3d printed tyrannosaurus rex on display

Forget digging for fossils. This museum 3D printed a full T-Rex skeleton instead

Despite what Jurassic Park might lead you to believe, T-Rex skeletons are very, very rare. So instead of digging one up, this museum 3D printed one
Girl scouts and Wing delivery drones.

The utopian future is here: Google can deliver Girl Scout Cookies via drone

The pandemic has made it much more difficult for Girl Scouts to sell their famous cookies in person -- so Google brought in some drones to help