objects are usually less than meets the eye
when it comes to heft and feel, and sights
and sounds only get you so far in creating
simulations. Virtual reality systems could
use a bigger dose of reality to cure their
tendency to leave users empty-handed. A system
that makes real objects players in virtual
environments creates a hands-on experience.
support growing organs
A method for making intricate networks of artificial
blood vessels brings the decades-old dream of growing
replacement organs a big step closer. The networks
are designed to provide the support structure needed
for organ cells to coalesce into something greater
than the sum of its parts. The key is taking advantage
of one of nature's favorite patterns -- fractals.
off, screen off
Giving computers the ability to discern where you
are looking means, among other possibilities, setting
screens to go dormant when they don't have your
attention. The technology has been around for years,
but the trick to making it practical is keeping
the energy-saving mechanism from using more energy
than it saves.
Chip senses trace DNA
Handheld detectors could one day allow you to monitor
your body for cancer, your water for toxic chemicals,
and your food for nasty bacteria. Making these devices
means developing inexpensive electronics that are
capable of detecting trace amounts of substances.
One candidate is a chip containing DNA-tipped carbon
bursts pierce fog... Electricity
loosens tiny bits... Nano
light stores data in polymer... See-through
magnets hang tough... Munching
microbes feed fuel cell... Crystal
cracks nurture nanowires.