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BMW Shows Us Hyperloop Travel

A stunning Virgin Hyperloop One pod that could carry passengers at speeds of up to 760mph (1,200 kmh) when it launches in 2020 has been unveiled.

The prototype pod is equipped with luxury adjustable leather seats and built-in touchscreen displays that let passengers personalise their entertainment.

Floor lighting could help travellers to find their way around and there are also personally-controlled lights for reading.

The BMW-designed concept pods give a glimpse of the luxurious conditions inside the futuristic transport vehicles, which could launch in Dubai within the next two years. read more

Infinitely-Recyclable Plastics

A sample of the infinitely-recyclable polymer developed at Colorado State University
A sample of the infinitely-recyclable polymer developed at Colorado State University(Credit:Bill Cotton/Colorado State University)

As useful as it is, plastic isn’t the most environmentally-friendly material. Our constant use of the stuff has seen huge amounts of it lodged in Arctic sea ice, penetrating to the deepest parts of the ocean and even travelling up the food chain. read more

Weapon Wednesday – Quantum Radar Will Negate Stealth Technology

The new quantum radar would negate the near-invisibility of stealth aircraft like the B-2 Spirit bomber
The new quantum radar would negate the near-invisibility of stealth aircraft like the B-2 Spirit bomber(Credit: USAF)

Stealth technology may not be very stealthy in the future thanks to a US$2.7-million project by the Canadian Department of National Defence to develop a new quantum radar system. The project, led by Jonathan Baugh at the University of Waterloo’s Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC), uses the phenomenon of quantum entanglement to eliminate heavy background noise, thereby defeating stealth anti-radar technologies to detect incoming aircraft and missiles with much greater accuracy. read more

Hologram Video Conferencing

TeleHuman 2 supports multiple viewers looking from any angle
TeleHuman 2 supports multiple viewers looking from any angle(Credit: Queen’s University)

Plain old video calls could soon be made to look very outdated, thanks to new research coming out of Queen’s University in Ontario. A team there has produced a 3D teleconferencing system called TeleHuman 2, which enables real-time holograms of people to appear in any location. read more

Floating Pyramid City

Wayaland would include houses, hotels, retail areas, and cinemas
Wayaland would include houses, hotels, retail areas, and cinemas(Credit: Pierpaolo Lazzarini)

Pierpaolo Lazzarini, the Italian designer behind the UFO 2.0 floating home, has conceived a floating community made up of solar-powered pyramid-shaped buildings. The Wayaland project is still very much in the concept stage at present, but Lazzarini is hoping to raise the funds necessary to begin construction on it with a crowdfunding campaign. read more

Origami Skyscraper for Disaster Zones

Designed by a group of Polish architects, the Skyshelter.zip concept could be packed into a box and carried underneath a helicopter to almost any site.

The structure of the skyscraper unfolds almost instantaneously thanks to a large load-bearing helium balloon placed within, which protects it from external forces.

The design recently won the annual Evolo competition and beat rival efforts from 525 other interesting architectural concepts, including honourable mentions for an Urban Lung that sequesters carbon in the air and a tower that uses the power of a waterfall to generate energy.

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Weapon Wednesday – Lockheed Hypersonic Missile

The X-51 hypersonic test vehicle
The X-51 hypersonic test vehicle(Credit: US Air Force)

It appears that the US Air Force is taking recent reports of Russian and Chinese hypersonic weapon systems seriously, as it’s upped its game by awarding Lockheed Martin a contract worth up to US$928 million to develop a conventional strike weapon capable of flying over five times the speed of sound. read more

New Hydrogel Stronger than Steel

The newly developed fiber-reinforced hydrogel consists of polyampholyte gels and glass fiber fabric
The newly developed fiber-reinforced hydrogel consists of polyampholyte gels and glass fiber fabric(Credit: Hokkaido University)

Hydrogels have shown significant potential in everything from wound dressings to soft robots, but their applications have been limited from their lack of toughness – until now. read more

Auto Fabrica’s Type 11 Motorcycle

Auto Fabrica's Type 11 Prototype 3: a track-only proof of concept
Auto Fabrica’s Type 11 Prototype 3: a track-only proof of concept(Credit: Yamaha)

Yamaha is keen to highlight the custom building potential of its XSR900 cafe racer, sponsoring a series of “yard built” customs that take it in a number of different directions. This one’s wacky enough to really catch our eye. UK custom house Auto Fabrica put together a retro-futuristic cafe racer it’s calling the Type 11. read more

Sweden’s Electric Highway

The Swedish project eRoadArlanda powers electric vehicles through a slot car-like track embedded in the road
The Swedish project eRoadArlanda powers electric vehicles through a slot car-like track embedded in the road(Credit: eRoadArlanda)

In a move that will probably delight anyone who raced slot cars as a kid (or an adult), the Swedish Transport Administration has just opened a 2-km (1.2-mi) stretch of electrified road that works the same way. The project, dubbed eRoadArlanda, involves embedding electric rails into the road surface to power electric vehicles through a contact arm hanging down from under the car. read more