research
A New Approach to Electronic Fabrics Can Turn Your Clothing Into a Remote You’ll Never Lose

Losing the remote is less of a catastrophe these days with TVs that can be controlled using your phone or your voice, but that doesn’t mean there’s no room for improvement: Researchers at Purdue University have developed a way to turn any fabric into a simple electronic device, so your favourite sweatpants for binge-watching Netflix could also double as a wearable remote. Read More >>

science
Contact Lenses That Can Change Focus and Zoom When You Blink Move Closer to Reality

Believe it or not, contact lenses are still an option for those who wear glasses that accommodate multiple prescriptions, but because of the unique approach they take to remedying vision problems, it can sometimes take over a month to get used to using them. Researchers at the University of California San Diego have created a better alternative with a prototype contact lens that can automatically switch between focusing on near or far objects by detecting the wearer’s eye movements. Read More >>

drones
Watch This Flying Drone Shrink Like Ant-Man to Squeeze Through Small Spaces

We’ve come up with lots of unique ways to use drones – from scorching the earth to delivering food – but one of the most common is for reconnaissance or search and rescue missions where it’s unsafe for humans to venture. That can include the occasional cramped space where drones normally can’t fit, but a new design lets them temporarily shrink to squeeze through tight spaces. Read More >>

dogs
Remote Control Dogs Are Now a Reality Thanks to This Haptic Vest

You know how you instinctively reach for your pocket every time you feel your phone vibrating with a notification? Researchers at Ben-Gurion University in Israel have harnessed that same reflex to create what is essentially a remote control dog that receives silent commands and signals through a vibrating vest. Read More >>

robots
This Sad Robot Made From Random Twigs Has to Teach Itself to Get Around

Watching Boston Dynamics’ ATLAS robot backflip its way through a parkour course is impressive, but those seemingly effortless manoeuvres actually represent thousands of hours of unseen development and testing to perfect. While this robot made from random branches struggling to crawl across the floor is comparatively sad to watch, it represents the future of robotics as the bot learned those moves all by itself. Read More >>

research
A New Way to Erase Ink Lets You Reuse Printouts Without Recycling

Yes, it’s great that your office put a blue bin next to the copy machine so unwanted print outs don’t end up in the trash. But recycling paper still takes its toll on the environment, so researchers at Rutgers have come up with a new way to erase ink off a printed page, allowing it to be run through a printer again and again. Read More >>

gaming
Researchers Designed a Video Game That Changes on the Fly to Compensate For Lag

Be it from a bad controller, an over-taxed computer, or troubles with a network connection, lag – also known as latency – has been plaguing gamers for decades. Responsive controls are crucial for victory in any kind of game requiring quick reflexes, but researchers have come up with a novel way to eliminate lag. Instead of tweaking endless settings or upgrading hardware, the game itself automatically adjusts to give players a fair chance when increased latency reduces their odds of winning. Read More >>

phones
Without Wires or Bluetooth, This Case Lets You Add Buttons and Scroll Wheels to Your Smartphone

It won’t be long before smartphones ditch every last physical button, but is that necessarily a good thing? Fewer components in a device means more profit for manufacturers, but users are left having to learn awkward touchscreen gestures to compensate. Researchers at Columbia University are bringing back the button with a customizable smartphone case that works without the need for batteries, wires, or even a Bluetooth connection. Read More >>

photography
This Software Can Unwarp Your Friends’ Distorted Faces in Wide Angle Smartphone Photos

The wide-angle camera lenses that have become more prevalent in smartphones are great for capturing shots of large groups of people – assuming you’re not one of the people near the edges or corners of the photo whose face ends up getting unflatteringly warped. Computational photography researchers have come up with a solution that can automatically fix distorted faces, without affecting the rest of the photo. Read More >>

science
A New Hearing Aid Promises to Tune Out Distracting Voices By Reading the Wearer’s Brain Waves

You don’t notice it happening, but in a crowded, noisy room, your brain has the remarkable ability to effectively tune out all but the people you’re talking to. Trying to replicate this behaviour in gadgets like hearing aids has proven to be very difficult, but researchers might have finally found a solution by listening to not only sounds but also the wearer’s brain waves. Read More >>

science
Is Science Broken? Major New Report Outlines Problems in Research

A new report released this week by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is weighing in on a contentious debate within the science world: the idea that scientific research is fundamentally flawed, rife with published findings that often can’t be reproduced or replicated by other scientists, otherwise known as the replication and reproducibility crisis. Read More >>

air travel
A New Design Promises to Quiet the Terrifying Roar of Flushing an Aeroplane Toilet

Flying has become an altogether unpleasant experience, from long security lines at the airport to cramped, uncomfortable seats. But one of the more unsettling parts of flying, those aeroplane toilets that sound like jet engines when flushed, might soon be much quieter thanks to some long overdue research from Brigham Young University. Read More >>

batteries
AI Is the New Secret Weapon in the Quest for Better Batteries

Compared to all the electronics that power the tiny computer in your pocket; battery technology is downright disappointing. Not only does your smartphone need charging every day, but in a few years, its battery will be barely able to hold a charge at all. So how long will your device last? Researchers at Standford University and MIT have created an AI that can predict a battery’s potential lifespan after just a handful of charges. Read More >>

data
Mobile Data Costs a Fortune in the UK, New Study Shows

A direct comparison of mobile phone data prices across 230 countries has shown that the UK comes a deeply depressing 136th. That's right, we're in the bottom half in the whole world. Woohoo! Read More >>

robots
This Wiggling Robot Could Chase You on Land and Underwater

Copying one of Mother Nature’s designs is a clever shortcut when building robots that need to navigate our complex world. But those designs aren’t always adaptable – a fish can’t do much when it’s out of the water. Adding some human ingenuity, however, results in the best of both worlds; a robot that swims like a fish, but can also use its fins to get around on land. Read More >>