Artificial eyes look to the future

Bionic eyes have been a mainstay of science fiction for decades, but now real-world research is beginning to catch up with far-sighted storytellers. A raft of technologies is coming to market that restore sight to people with different kinds of vision impairment.

Israeli surgeons implanted the world’s first artificial cornea into a bilaterally blind, 78-year-old man. When his bandages were removed, the patient could read and recognise family members immediately. The implant also fuses naturally to human tissue without the recipient’s body rejecting it.

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Future technology: 25 ideas about to change our world

sciencefocus.com

Human-powered wearables

Scientist have found a way to harvest of energy you spend when u exercise and turn it into electricity. No-one will be plugging themselves into the grid any time soon, but researchers at the the University of Colorado, Boulder, believe their technology could power a heart-rate monitor or fitness tracker.

The team was able to fit thermoelectric generators into stretchable film bands that can be worn around the wrist. They cost less than $10 to make, and because they’re made from a liquid metal and polymer, they are both self-healing and easy to recycle.

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Our congested cities are indesparate need of a breather and relief may come from the air as opposed roads. Plans for a different kind of transport hub – one for delivery drones and electric air-taxis – are becoming a reality, with the first Urban Air Port receiving funding from the UK government.

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Self-healing ‘living concrete’

Scientists have developed what yhey call living concrete by using sand, gel and bacteria

Researchers said this building material has structural load-bearing function, is capable of self-healing and is more environmentally friendly than concrete – which is the second most-consumed material on Earth after water.

The team from the University of Colorado Boulder believe their work paves the way for future building.

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Internet for everyone

We can't seem to live without the internet, but still only around half the world's population is connected. There are many reasons for this, including economic and social reasons, but for some the internet just isn’t accessible because they have no connection.

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Heart monitoring T-shirt

Wearable sports bands that measure your heart rate are nothing new, but as numerous studies have shown, the accuracy can vary wildly

Using a single lead ECG printed into the fabric, this new t-shirt from smart materials company KYMIRA will accurately measure heart beats and upload them to the cloud via Bluetooth. Once there, algorithms process the data to accurately detect irregular heartbeats such as arrhythmia heart beats, which could prove life saving.

And it’s not just athletes who could benefit. “The possibilities this product offers both sportspeople and the general public is astonishing,” says Tim Brownstone, CEO and founder of KYMIRA. “We envisage developing this product to be used for clinical applications to allow those who may already suffer with heart conditions enough warning of a heart attack.”

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Car batteries that charge in 10 minutes

Fast-charging of electric vehicles is seen as key to their take-up, so motorists can stop at a service station and fully charge their car in the time it takes to get a coffee and use the toilet – taking no longer than a conventional break.

The battery design they have come up with is self-heating, using a thin nickel foil which creates an electrical circuit that heats in less than 30 seconds to warm the inside of the battery. The rapid cooling that would be needed after the battery is charged would be done using the cooling system designed into the car.

their study showed they could fully charge an electrical car in 10 minutes

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