Friday, 2 November 2012

South Korean Super Gun can Lock on to Human Target at 3 Kilometres

Remember the Turret Guns on Star Wars IV Battle Star? Well, South Korean Engineering has (kind of) caught up.

South Korean defence firm DoDaam just introduced the Super Aegis 2. The system features an automated turret that can target a human from 3-kilometers using special thermal imaging cameras. 

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Ralph's Inventing Innovation

E. Ralph Biggadike's breakthrough research on the realities of corporate venturing, reported in his 1979 HBR article, "The Risky Business of Diversification," therefore broke new ground by collecting actual data about what companies could expect as they explored new markets or extended their reach to new product categories. It was in the mold of many classic HBR pieces of the day — using rigorous academic research to inform an interesting managerial question. Ralph used the then-newProfit Impact of Market Strategies (or PIMS) database and his own original research to create a sample of 68 ventures launched by 35 companies, mostly in industrial goods businesses. He examined the fates of these ventures (which had all survived for some time) to try to determine how long a company could expect to wait for them to be profitable, and how well they would ultimately do financially. One of his most significant conclusions was that "new ventures need, on the average, eight years before they reach profitability." Further, that it took another two to four years before the return on investment of the new businesses equated to returns from the existing businesses. At the time, interestingly, as now, executives often gave a fledgling business three years or so to prove themselves, after which they lost interest. It didn't make sense then, and makes even less sense now.
I first read Ralph's article about ten years after it was first published. I had gone back to school after eight years in management to begin my own Ph.D. program at the Wharton School. I was fascinated by what I'd seen of just how hard it is to get large-scale organizations to adapt. This was an era in which the leaders of American businesses were first being confronted with forces which would cause barriers to entry to erode, technologies to move faster, and competitors to come from unexpected places. Japanese companies were only the first of many that had expanded into U.S. markets with devastating impacts on American industries as varied as automobiles, steel, textiles, and heavy manufacturing. Innovation, or venturing, was slowly working its way onto the leadership agenda. Ralph's article set me on a path of trying to understand the quirky, often completely irrational, and of course uncertain, process of corporate venturing. It was one of the foundational pieces for my own longitudinal dissertation work on how companies build new capabilities.
A lot has changed since that article was published, and I had to smile upon re-reading it to revisit ideas that have evolved since then in their original, fresh, new-to-the-world form. One is the primacy of market share. For instance, Ralph was critical of what he called "timid" target-setting by venture leaders which caused them to target relatively modest market shares in their launch plans. He argued that his data suggested that aggressive entry would lead to more rapid profitability, as long as growth in revenue exceeded growth in expenses. Today, we might be more forgiving of an experimental approach to new markets, often under the rubric of a learning or options view. Our vocabulary has also changed. Today, we talk about venturing, new business development, and innovation and we don't limit ourselves to industrial firms extending their reach into new product categories, but to all kinds of companies exploring new business models. Today, the creation of entirely new categories is taking place at a clip that was unthinkable then.
Years after I first encountered his work, I encountered the man. After a successful career as an academic, and then a senior executive at Becton Dickinson, Ralph decided to explore rejoining academia and teaching at Columbia Business School for his next act. I was thrilled to be one of the faculty members selected to speak with him to see if there could be a good fit. Our conversation took place in 1994, the year after I myself joined the Columbia faculty. 
I recall his enthusiasm for the recently published book Built to Last; he described how energizing it had been for his company's senior executive team to think about the vision for the company in a decades-long timeframe and in terms of core purpose. Ralph did join Columbia and became one of the most beloved teachers in our MBA program and a highly popular faculty leader of our executive programs. He was a mentor to more junior people and a constant advocate for the importance of the job of the general manager to the future of their organizations. I was deeply saddened to learn last month that Ralph had passed away. The impact of his ideas, however, endures'.... 

Rita McGrath.Columbia Business School professor Rita McGrath studies innovation, corporate venturing, and entrepreneurship. Her latest book is Discovery-Driven Growth.

But it is one of the best scientific anthologies I read for years. 

It is a collection of the best scientific mind's ideas around today in one place and for a mere 10 quid!

This book – I think – won’t make you smarter. 

But it will take your mind to highly refreshing places. 

And come to think about it, that would improve your mental focus anyhow. 

Link to review book.

'A Supercomputer that just about fit in a large building 20 years ago, now fits in your pocket. Your Smartphone. A Smartphone that fits in your pocket today, will fit in a (your) blood cell in 20 years from now.'

Ray Kurzweil

Monday, 29 October 2012

Is Skynet Next Nexus or Next Vex-Us?

It’s the idea that an artificial intelligence, created by our own need to innovate and push the envelope of machine capability, will one day develop on its own in ways.
Science fiction… right?
I guess that depends on your perspective and how far into the future you can see. But either way, there are some truly amazing projects happening today that can only make you excited about the possibilities for the future and maybe just a little weary at the same time.
These are 3 (scary) but truly innovative communications technologies being developed right now…

Project glass

This Google project has had a lot of exposure recently as it offers a glimpse at how technology will further integrate into our daily lives in the very near future. Google best highlights the possible future implementation with this video:

Something to think about: Integrate project glass’s ability to process the context of what a device sees with the innovative industry of robotics.

Carrier IQ

Carrier IQ’s technology provides the capability of monitoring keystrokes, calls, text messages, and location. It’s purpose is purely analytical and to provide service providers the feedback necessary to improve the user experience and troubleshoot issues.
The concern with this technology? Carrier IQ’s tools run in the background, often without the user’s knowledge and what actually gets analyzed is at the discretion of the service provider.
Very powerful and valuable technology but the concern is that at the flip of the switch this capability could create a personalized Big Brother right in your pocket or case.
Read more on Carrier IQ: Engaget provided an informative piece on CarrierIQ.


Gimbal is leading the drive for context aware applications. Gimbal is the context awareness platform developed by Qualcomm, a leader in mobile chipset technology. More than likely you either own or have owned a smart phone powered by a Qualcomm chip.
The Gimbal SDK allows developers of Android and iOS apps to provide a more contextual experience for their users based on the user’s location, habits, and preferences.
Gimbal and similar technologies will allow innovative developers to provide more convenient and intuitive services as well as gain more insight to their user base.
Read more on Gimbal.

10 Amazing Inventions that You Didn’t Know Existed.

I've been looking at breakthroughs in science, technology and innovation since I was young kid. When I was 7 Dr Who Ruled!

I used to wonder if the Si-Fi I watched on TV would ever happen in my life time. But the more I search these days, the more I find the real-world technological breakthrough are going ahead of what I could have imagined back then.

And the more I'm convinced that the Technological Singularity is on its way!

Take a look at this bunch of stuff:

1. Quantum Teleporter

Q-Teleportation has been successful on smaller objects according to a Study. “We were able to perform a quantum teleportation experiment for the first time ever outside a university laboratory,” said Rupert Ursin, a researcher at the Institute for Experimental Physics at the University of Vienna in Austria. In q-Teleportation it is the quantum states of the objects that are destroyed and recreated, and not the objects themselves. Therefore, q-Teleportation cannot teleport animate or inanimate matter (or energy) in its physical entirety. The device thus creates a replica of an original thing  at a new position and the original thing ceased to exist once the replicas were created. 

2. The Sixth Sense Technology

The conference TED (the name stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design) the guys from theMassachusetts Institute of Technology revealed something unbelievable, a working prototype of a multifunctional device that can become part of our lives in five years to ten. Set named “sixth sense” consists of only wearing colorful caps, perceived by a multifunctional device. See the video to understand how it works. Seeing is believing!

3. 360º 3-D Holographic Displays

The ZCamTM is a video camera that can capture depth information (which is used to build the 3D model) along with video and is produced by 3DV Systems. The technology is based on the Time of Flight principle. In this technique, 3D depth data is generated by sending pulses of infra-red light  into the scene and detecting the light reflected from the surfaces of objects in the scene. Using the time taken for a light pulse to travel to the target and back, the distance can be calculated and used to build up 3D depth information for all objects in the scene. (Via 3dvsystems)

4. Lightsaber

And we thought they were just sci-fi! The lightsaber consists of a polished metal hilt which projects a blade of energy (plasma) about one meter long. The lightsaber’s blade cuts through most substances without resistance. It leaves cauterized wounds in flesh, but can be deflected by another lightsaber’s blade, or an energy shield or wall. HowStuffWorks has a detailed tutorial on how to create a lightsaber. It also verifies that lightsabers have been sold on ebay. There are some more theoretical explanations on the existence of light-saber technology, however we couldn’t actually discover more details about the actual product in existence. We still added it to the list because we wanted it to be real so bad. After all who wouldn’t want to see lightsaber battles as part of Olympics?

5. JetPack

Jet pack, usually worn on the back in sci-fi, that use jets of escaping gases (or in some cases liquid water) to allow a single user to fly. TAM is the first and only company in the world that produces a complete package of a custom designed Rocket Belt using the most advanced technology and aerospace materials with the special distillation machine to produce your own rocket grade fuel hydrogen peroxide. (Via TAM)

6. Military exoskeleton prototype

The Military exoskeleton is a completely un-tethered, hydraulic-powered anthropomorphic exoskeleton that provides users with the ability to carry loads of up to 200 lbs for extended periods of time and over all terrains. Its flexible design allows for deep squats, crawls and upper-body lifting. There is no joystick or other control mechanism. The exoskeleton senses what users want to do and where they want to go. It augments their ability, strength and endurance.

7. Flying Car

It’s called “The Highway in the Sky,” and here’s how it works: Every time you’re stuck in traffic, you can flip a switch and swoop into the sky (via CBS News).

8. Flying Saucer

Last time I saw a flying saucer being engineered to take to the skies was with a Moller’s prototype. Since then and till very recently – perhaps till the moment I came across this, I never thought lethal drones could also take a leaf from the extraterrestrial flyers. A British drone company called Aesir, however, thinks it’s feasible, and is thus creating models of unmanned aerial vehicles in the shape of flying saucers. (Via gizmowatch).

9. Virtual Goggles

Technology has brought virtual worlds into our computers for many years. Now, virtual reality (VR) will be in our living rooms. The underground effort that has been an experimental fantasy for decades has become reality now (Via Softpedia News).

10. Contact Lenses That Change Color To Alert Diabetics of Glucose Levels

There is great news for diabetics. A revolutionary technology has came into being to help them measure blood sugar levels without drawing blood daily. It uses extremely small nanoparticles embedded into the hydrogel lenses. These engineered nanoparticles react with glucose molecules found in tears, causing a chemical reaction that changes their colour. Developed by biochemical engineering professor Jin Zhang at the University of Western Ontario. (Via ImpactLab).

'Art is Pleasure;
Invention is Treasure!'

Trevor Baylis,
Inventor of the Windup Radio.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

'The NeuroAD system by Neuronix is an innovative, safe and effective non-pharmaceutical treatment alternative with technology that is CE-approved for the treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s Disease. 

It is the first medical device technology in the world cleared for this indication and has shown to deliver lasting improvement in cognitive ability of patients, as well as modify disease progression. 

The neuroAD system is based on Neuronix’s patent-pending Non Invasive Cortical Enhancer (NICE™) technology. This patent-pending technology combines two modalities concurrently: 
the course of disease progression.'