The unrelenting progress of technology has increased to warp speed, as a rash of new and exciting sciences have combined to create a techno-renaissance.
Kiwi furniture designers Contab have developed a new dining table that moves you, your seat, and your food slowly around its perimeter, allowing guests to interact equally – the movement is slow enough that you don’t notice it happening and in two hours you will have spoken to everyone twice without even moving from your seat. The price tag starts at around AUS $100,000 for this magnificent conversation piece and the modular design means that the table can be extended to seat 60 people.
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Wakamaru is a one metre tall, 30 kg bright yellow robot, that is able to respond to the orders of two masters and recognise a vocabulary of more than 10,000 words. Designed as a “helper” for the elderly and ill, it is permanently connected to the Internet and can identify health problems, even capable of making an appointment to see the doctor. Wakamaru is one of several robotic products likely to hit the market this year. It is expected to sell for around AUS$15,000.
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The Scubadoo opens a new dimension of underwater exploration by combining a fixed breathing dome that covers the head and shoulders with a highly-maneuverable, motorised underwater “motorcycle”. The design removes the need for a mask, mouthpiece, weight-belts or an air tank and enables the diver to cruise underwater at 2.5 knots. No price yet, as they are only being licensed to dive sites, but when they do go on sale, expect a tag around AUS$20,000.
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Sometimes architecture can create much more than a roof over your head. This five-level, floating dwelling for six people showcases how a living space can define a new kind of lifestyle. Jelly-fish 45 is nine metres wide and 15 metres high. It has living areas above and below sea level, including a day-time deck, containing kitchen and bathrooms, a semi-submerged guest room and an underwater observation globe. Built for use in atolls, sea parks and sheltered bays, Jelly-fish 45 is a futuristic design by Giancarlo Zema.
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Imagine having a pantry that could talk to the refrigerator and the oven to co-ordinate and prepare meals, all while you dished out the orders from your computer terminal at the office. That’s the scenario proposed by the iK (integrated kitchen). Based around a central cylindrical tree that enables the separate physical components of the unit to be linked, the iK’s overall dimensions are just 1.8m wide x 0.8m deep x 2.1m high.
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Sports sunglasses that incorporate a heads-up display, wrist-worn PDAs with full-voice control and intelligent pens that store a digital copy of your handwriting – these devices will form part of an integrated family of wearable devices under development by Motorola and expected on the market within two years. User testing is already underway.
Story 1869 at www.gizmo.com.au
Born to be wild
The engine has 16 cylinders, eight camshafts, four turbochargers, 64 valves and produces 1001 horsepower. It will power the world’s fastest production car to a top speed of 406kmh. When the Bugatti Veyron goes on sale later this year, it will be the fastest and most expensive production car in history and will cost around AUS$2,000,000.
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