5 Things You Need to Know Now


Better than Star Wars: 3D objects crafted from light. The new technology uses photoswitch molecules to bring to life 3-D light structures that are viewable from 360 degrees. The heart of the SMU 3-D Light Pad technology is a molecule, which can switch from colorless to fluorescent when shined with a beam of ultraviolet light. Shaping light into an infinite number of volumetric objects would be useful in a variety of fields, from biomedical imaging, education and engineering, to TV, movies, video games.

Stairs that recycle energy from steps. The new energy-recycling stairs store a user's energy during descent and return energy to the user during ascent.The spring-loaded stairs compress when someone comes down the stairs, saving energy otherwise dissipated through impact and braking forces at the ankle by 26 percent. When going up, the stairs give people a boost by releasing the stored energy, making it 37 percent easier on the knee than using conventional stairs. The low-power device can be placed on existing staircases and doesn't have to be permanently installed.

Making music by thought. Neurologists have created a hands-free, thought-controlled musical instrument. The Encephalophone collects brain signals through a cap that transforms specific signals into musical notes. The invention is coupled with a synthesizer, allowing the user to create music using a wide variety of instrumental sounds.

3D Movies for home, no glasses needed. Home3D converts traditional 3-D movies from stereo into a format that's compatible with so-called "automultiscopic displays." It can run in real-time on a system such as an Xbox or a PlayStation and in the future could take the form of a chip that could be put into TVs .The algorithms also let users customize the viewing experience, dialing up or down the desired level of 3-D for any given movie. 

Generous people live happier lives. Generosity makes people happier, even if they are only a little generous. People who act solely out of self-interest are less happy. Merely promising to be more generous is enough to trigger a change in our brains that makes us happier

Bonus: The new season of Game of Thrones debuted this weekend in the US and will premier in Moscow on Tuesday night.

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