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     Volume 6 Issue 41 | October 26, 2007 |

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Creepy Crawlies and Fancy
Disguise Saves the Day

Imran H. Khan

James Bond has always been one of my favourite characters while growing up and the gadget that he uses has always caught my fancy. True that 95 percent of them have never seen the light of day but they always looked practical on TV. As I surfed the net looking for interesting snippets of technology, I came upon some quite interesting discoveries. The fellows at the Chonnam National University have come up with a tiny microscopic robot that is going to be integrated into medical procedures to clear blocked arteries. The miniscule robot has six legs and walks in the same manner as a crab and is even capable of travelling a whopping 55 yards in three weeks. The main ideology of our little friend is to reach the blocked arteries and release stored drugs to break up the blockage. The most awesome thing about this medical tool is that it doesn't even need a built-in energy source. It gets its energy from the movement itself as the three hind legs are longer than the three legs at the front. Its movement involves attaching itself to the heart muscle and the legs bend at the time of cardiac contraction propelling the machine forwards. Sugars in the patient's blood provide an alternative energy source. Remarkable! This contraption should be out as soon as it is tested. Watching Terminator we all got the vibe that it would be the Robots that would wipe out the human race but I just didn't think it would be the nanobots that would do the trick.

Moving on from Creepy Crawlies to simply creepy, I could not help but chance upon a site that was showcasing the Lighting Marie Louise Lamp. This is quite a unique, though eerie, lampshade which comes with a jaw-dropping sleek design. The unorthodox light source is constructed from sheets of acrylic and uses a 14-watt fluorescent bulb along the length of the base to provide the semi-creepy, stylish glow. This item comes in a number of colours. Two different styles are offered as further options, either an intricate etched pattern or a plain transparent design. Get ready to flex your flexible friend; the etched variety will set you back a magnificent $1299, whilst the plain type will be a slightly more modest, but still ridiculous, $999. As long as it keeps you in good mood, it's all good. A small price to pay for happiness I would say.

I recently started playing basket ball again and of course had to get a pair of contacts. Now the thing about contacts is that it's not really cool unless you have a pair of sunglass to sport over it. Well consider the new Informance smart sunglasses as a worthy asset to your arsenal of workout gear. The instrument is intended for use by professional athletes, and will allow them to view vital statistics in their peripheral vision using a projected image on one of the lenses. The technology behind the device has been whittled down to a minute 7 grams, meaning performance interference will be kept to a minimum. The physics behind the relaying of the image is rather nifty, but it involves far too many reflections from one place to another for it to make any sense to the user. The image originates from a small LED display, which draws its power from a battery embedded in the glasses' left arm. Remember Mission Impossible? Mike Hazel, of Cambridge Consultants, one of the firms involved in the development, pointed out such technology is usually large, bulky and exclusively for military use. Their product hopes to break from the norm. The prototype gets its information from a wireless link in a wristwatch the user wears. The German company behind the display, Rodenstock, is keen to implement a larger screen than the current 160 x 120 LCD display, which will be tweaked to provide even more information. This nifty gadget will be out in 2009 and should come with a nifty price tag too.

The next idea is the Antigravity Magnetic Glass that stays put even when you're not. Attach this magnetic Six-pack of colourful 1.5-inch glasses to their included stainless steel tray, and the conical vessels stay put even if you hold the tray upside down. At first I thought it could also hold the drink inside the glass too but hey, I was aiming for too much.

Ok I have saved the best for the last. Japanese clothing industry has come up with this one. It's an Anti Rape/Mugging Dress that transforms Into a Vending Machine Disguise.

To ward off criminals, fashion designer Aya Tsukioka has conjured up some neat transforming clothes/accessories to deceive potential muggers. Now the question: when do we actually get this kit out? While waiting or during the attack? Examples include a skirt that transforms the wearer into a nondescript vending machine and the unfortunately titled Manhole Bag, which converts a lady's handbag into what appears to be a sewer cover with the contents kept safe inside. The idea might be a bit funny at first but this is the same way nature camouflages its creatures from predators, and I for one am not going to mess with Mother Nature.


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