Tech roundup: Living liquid sculptures, flat-pack genius and more
April 30, 2020
We keep an eye on the latest technology developments so you don’t have to. Here are some of the things we’ve spotted recently that are changing our world for the better — or at least, helping us raise a smile in challenging times.
Choose your dreams
The term ‘lucid dreaming’ was first coined more than a century ago, although the idea of being able to guide one’s dreams was already the subject of fiction and conjecture. If, like me, your dreams are normally incomprehensible and meaningless, and you feel you would benefit from guiding their jumbled logic into something resembling a narrative that could bring meaning - or at least, entertainment - to your life, the open-source, glove-like wearable called Dormio is for you. Researchers at MIT found that in a 50-person experiment, Dormio was able to insert a tiger into people’s dreams by repeating a pre-recorded audio cue at the right time in their sleep cycle. Inception is here!
Serious battery power
Ear-splitting noise and big diesel engines are the normal features of the type of machines you usually find on building sites. While electric vehicles are taking a bigger and bigger bite out of the automotive market, most people would not expect to find an electric excavator on site anywhere in the world. Until now. This ZE85 battery-powered electric excavator from Suncar HK AG is currently being used on site in Norway - and can be fully charged in just one hour.
Living liquid sculptures
If you ever played with iron filings as a kid and marvelled at the strange patterns they made when you moved a magnet around near them, you’ll love Eric Mesplé’s mesmerising 3-D moving sculptures, made out of fluid infused with magnetic nanoparticles. The intriguing substance - first invented by NASA in the Sixties - is somewhere between liquid and solid, and forms strange, symmetrical peaks and troughs that shift when magnetic forces are applied near them. Watch the video here: https://www.wired.com/story/ferrofluid-sculptures/
As much of the population endures the COVID-19 lockdown, one thing is in abundance - the cardboard packaging in which all our home deliveries arrive. Recycling is obviously better than landfill but repurposing is even better, so props to Samsung for coming up with TV packaging materials that basically double as flatpack furniture for you or your pets:
The week’s events at Sydney Opera House
As our work and social lives move online, so do cultural events. Sydney Opera House is digging through its rich archives to present a Digital Season of events each week, from cooking conversations with Yotam Ottolenghi to breathtaking performances by the Sydney International Orchestra: https://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/digital/season.html