Posts Tagged ‘MIT’

MIT creates tractor beam

May 20th, 2009 1 comment

Part four in what is turning into my five part Star Trek inspired blogs relates to some super high tech stuff at MIT. Again not so much “for consumer use” but the science nerd in me wants to share this with the world at large. It’s like that old PSA “The More You Know”, right?
Anyway, some smarty pants professor and graduate student at MIT have figured out a way to use a “tractor beam” of light to pick up, hold and move around individual cells and other objects on the surface of a microchip.
Yes, that’s right. I said tractor beam!
Here’s an image of 16 E.coli cells on a microchip that the tractor beam manipulated into spelling MIT:
Tractor beam e.coli

They are calling this technology Optical Tweezers (which I think is a totally cute name, btw). They can be used to push around and control tiny objects (we’re talking nano to micrometer sizes)
Mostly this technology benefits engineering and biology research. Don’t expect to see new science kits on the shelves of your local Target or Toys R Us that include optical tweezer technology (come to think of it, I haven’t seen any science kits on any shelves in a real long time… what’s up with that? Do kids not think science is cool anymore? But I digress…)

Just think, if they can use this to make microchips even smaller then the iPhone will be even more awesome!

via MIT Develops ‘Tractor Beam’

Wearable Technology Gives You Real 6th Sense

May 4th, 2009 No comments

Do you remember the Tom Cruise movie Minority Report when he used hand gestures to navigate his computing needs? Well, this technology is now a reality! Not the Cogs, but visual gestures that lets you interact with information physically in the real world.

The technology is actually made up of a cellphone with Internet connection, camera, a projector, and specially designed wearable finger devices. The camera scans objects in the real world such as items at a grocery, it can then look up the item based on your buying behavior and the project displays either a buy or not buy on the product. This is absolutely amazing.

This Minority Report technology is the brain child of Prana Mistry from MIT. He created a lot of buzz at TED. The application and uses of unified technology are endless. Parrie Maes who gives the introduction also states that the price is only about $300 since the technology already exists today.