Tuesday, September 12, 2006

New Technology

Body armor that can stop rifle-fired armor piercing rounds? A Blackberry that knows where it is? Ads that show themselves? Get ready!

A lightweight bulletproof vest that protects against armour-piercing rounds is being developed by the US government's Army Soldiers System Command.

Conventional vests use woven plastics to ensnarl normal, blunt bullets. Extra layers of hard ceramics, with air-filled gaps in-between, are needed to stop shells with hard cores and sharp, armour-piercing tips. But this makes the protection too heavy and bulky for a person to wear.

The new vest has three layers: a top ceramic section, a middle layer of aluminium, and bottom layer of woven nylon.

And

The new Blackberrys would occasionally and very briefly vibrate. This should be too short to be mistaken for a message alert but just long enough for an accelerometer inside the device to measure how much it moves. This tells the Blackberry whether it is on top of a flat table, in a person's hand or stuffed inside a pocket.

And finally,

When a PVR fast forwards it saves processing power by displaying only the key frames. So the new system lets a broadcaster concentrate an advertising message in those key frames. A simplified version of an ad should then still be visible during fast-forwarding, albeit without sound.

Very cool stuff.

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