Invisible Soldiers And More Tech Of The Week

Plus: the bionic brain and the warp-speed thruster

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1 | Your First (Sort Of) Look At Invisible Soldiers

Check under your desk. Is there a soldier there? Check again. Because US troops may be set to receive Predator-style invisible uniforms within the next 18 months, meaning you wouldn't be able to see them anyway.

It’s been on the cards since 2006, but we finally have the technology to successfully manufacture the “metamaterials” needed to distort light rays from certain angles, meaning the wearer of the tech would be extremely difficult to see. While it won’t fully make the soldiers invisible, it will at the very least get rid of their shadows, helping them to blend into whatever situation they find themselves in. Don’t even think about checking the stationary cupboard…

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2 | Your New And Improved Way To Read Your Favourite Websites On Your Phone

We’ve all been there. A gripping interview with a Hollywood costume designer comes up on your newsfeed, you click through and…a ridiculous EIGHT SECONDS later the story loads, during which time you’ve probably lost the will to live.

As part of a new service called 'Instant Articles', Facebook will now be hosting pieces from the likes of The Atlantic, The Guardian and BBC News on their own servers, meaning articles will load instantly, without the need to retrieve the article from each magazine's individual server. Not only that, some articles will now feature video covers that play as you scroll through Twitter, plus interactive maps, audio captions and the opportunity to comment on individual lines of a story – which journalists will no doubt love.
 

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3 | Your New Chance To Turn Up The Tunes

There’ve been some questionable inventions in our time. The fake arm selfie stick. AR Driving goggles. The Segway. Now, Sony are set to join these ranks with their new LED light bulb that also doubles as a Bluetooth speaker. The main high-tech feature of the 360-lumen bulbs will be to illuminate a dark or near-dark room. Simply flick a switch at the wall and the lights will come on via “electricity”, brightening up the room, and your day.

The second feature is the ability to play some hot tunes through your light fixtures, courtesy of a Bluetooth connection with your phone. Perfect for blasting U2’s ‘Staring At The Sun’ after dark (or turning out the light and going to the pub instead).

Available from 23 May in Japan from £150. UK release TBC, sony.co.uk


4 | Your First Look At The Rise Of The Bionic Brain

We know that the human brain is essentially a very complex machine capable of computation, so it follows that mechanical ‘brains’ will one day catch up and at least be able to mimic our own abilities. This week scientists have come a step closer to the 'bionic brain' by developing an electronic memory cell able to process and store a wide range of information, effectively mimicking the way our own brains work. 

What this means is that the men in white coats can potentially recreate a human brain with artificial cells and experiment on it to find out information about a range of neurological conditions that can then be put into action on humans. As long as there’s an SAS unit on stand-by to take down the first belligerent human/robot cyborg, we’re all for it.


5 | Your First Chance To Shout ‘Punch It, Chewie!’

Or maybe not. Blasting off into space and making the stars go blurry is a staple trope of sci-fi films from Star Wars to Star Trek, but it might, possibly, become a reality as NASA announced this week they’re working on an emDrive – essentially a British-made component that uses microwaves to push through space at speed without the need for conventional fuel.

There’s a lot of science involved (including the fact that the technology defies the laws of physics) and the results are yet to be submitted for peer review, but if it all goes to plan, we could all be living on Mars a lot sooner than we anticipated.

Which will change your life?


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