Computer Chips For Your Brain And More Tech Of The Week

The most important – and worrying – advances from the past seven days

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1 | Your Latest Glimpse At Augmented Reality

Google Glass seems to be going the way of the MiniDisc player, but other tech companies are stepping in to fill the ‘slightly ungainly tech spectacles’ hole.

The latest to give it a crack is Sony with the roll-off-your-tongue SmartEyeglass SED-E1 Developer Edition. Where Google Glass features an inbuilt display, Sony’s effort will blast information right into your line of sight, making the whole process more streamlined. There’s also a clunky voice activation button, as demonstrated in the video above. Perfect for if you want to look like the world’s least subtle spy.

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£520, released in March, available for pre-order now, sonymobile.com


2 | The New Way To Feel Down About Your Bank Balance

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Remember that scene in Demolition Man where serial-killer Wesley Snipes escapes from a military facility by jabbing out a scientist’s eye then using it to operate the eye-ball recognition security scanner?

A less horrifying (not to mention messy) version of the same thing has arrived in the form of RBS and NatWest’s new fingerprint recognition software for their shared banking apps. With three million people already using it every week, this might be the latest strike in the death of the password. It’s also a much more secure way to access your funds and face it – no one’s going to steal your fingers to swipe your savings. £38.63 just isn’t worth it.

Touch ID will be available from 19 February on all phones running iOS8.


3 | Your Fully-Refreshed Internet Browser

What HTTP stands for will forever remain a mystery to mankind, but what we can tell you is that its first update in 16 years, HTTP/2, was finished this week and will soon be revolutionising your online activities.

Developed by the IETF HTTP Working Group it should bring faster load times, better connections and less crashed webpages. The best news of all is that Google and Chrome will be switching to HTTP/2 as soon as possible, while Internet Explorer users are probably still waiting for their webpage to open.


4 | Your Invitation To The Matrix

The American Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are currently working on a computer chip no bigger than the change in your pocket that can work inside people’s brains.

Operating like an in-built pair of VR specs, the new tech would use something called a ‘Cortical Modem’ to allow users to access the internet just by thinking about it, and to see images displayed inside their own field of vision. It works, apparently, by making use of optogenetics, the study of shining light on human cells in order to control them and while it’s still some way off, DARPA hope it may cost as little as £7. Whether or not you'll be able to dodge bullets, or have to wear leather to access it, remains to be seen. 

darpa.mil


5 | The Ultra-Powerful Smartwatch That Makes Your iPhone Redundant

Until now, smartwatches have mainly been a supplement for smartphones, but the new Neptune Hub could actually make your phone redundant. 

An extremely powerful smartwatch that feeds information to your (comparatively low-tech) phone, it packs 64GB of storage, 4G and 3,800Ah battery power, right there on your arm. We’re not exactly certain that phones will be dumped in favour of wearables, but it’s nevertheless an interesting entry in the history of checking Facebook on your wrist.

getneptune.com

Which will you go for?


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