Cisco’s Telepresence conferencing system is as close to being there without being there. The highly-touted (and expensive at $300,000 a pop) technology is prety amazing. Voices are in synch with the video. The folks on either side of the table are life size and natural. Even the conference table in one room melds into the three large plasma screens where you fellow but remote conferees are sitting. I had a chance to demo TelePresense, primary developer of whom is Michael Dhuey, a DN 2007 Engineer of the Year finalist. It’s amazingly natural. Your eyes follow those of the folks on the screens just as if they were in room. One conferee in San Jose (I was in Cisco’s Chicago office) asked me if I had been house painting. Indeed, I had, he picking up a small speck of white paint on my right hand. The only wierd thing is that I felt as if I was being watched. Indeed I was, but that’s something I could get over quickly. Check out the demo.
Better yet, the DN cover story in our October 22 issue about Telepresence, which is getting a lot of attention. The potential for this technology with dispersed engineering teams is enormous (hence, our statement on the cover "how to get back at the airlines"), but what do you think?
The Dutch are known for their love of bicycling, and they’ve also long been early adopters of green-energy and smart-city technologies. So it seems fitting that a town in which painter Vincent van Gogh once lived has given him a very Dutch-like tribute -- a bike path lit by a special smart paint in the style of the artist's “Starry Night” painting.
For decades, engineers have worked to combat erosion by developing high-strength alloys, composites, and surface coatings. However, in a new paper, a team at Jilin University in China turned to one of the most deadly animals in the world for inspiration -- the yellow fat-backed scorpion.
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