The next step in nanotechnology by George Tulevski

People in the IT industry have learned to cherish Moore’s law. According to it, the number of transistors that can be crammed into an integrated circuit (IC) doubles every two years. And this law has worked great for more than five decades, but now it is close to reaching its limits. We are now at a stage when the current technologies don’t allow IC components to get much smaller.

This means that higher CPU speeds may be out of our reach in the future. It’s a pessimistic scenario, but fortunately, Dr. George Tulevski, a researcher who has studied the little-known world of nanomaterials, has some good news to share.

The IBM researcher has managed to “train” billions of carbon nanotubes, making them group together into circuit elements. Is this the solution for the next generation of high density integrated circuits? Let’s find out!


The Thrilling Potential of the SixthSense Technology by Pranav Mistry

Pranav Mistry, the author of this talk, is a former UX Researcher with Microsoft, and the Global Vice President of Research at Samsung. He is the author of several inventions, including Mouseless, an invisible computer mouse.

Can we turn the Internet into a sixth human sense? Pranav tries to answer this question. And it does it in a convincing way, showing a system that utilizes a camera which is coupled to a tiny projector.

This way, we can use a computer wherever we go, because the projector replaces the computer screen, projecting the image on almost any surface.

It’s an upgraded version of the current augmented reality technology, if you will. The system makes use of a gesture-based interface, which adds digital information to the world around us.


Forget Wi-Fi. Meet the new Li-Fi Internet by Harald Haas

Wi-Fi has become an important part of our lives. And many of us simply couldn’t live without it! But Wi-Fi has several problems. You can’t broadcast signal over long distances, for example. Some people have tried to fix this by designing Wi-Fi antennas that can have a gain of up to 24 dBi. That’s an approximate signal strength increase of 19 dBi, or 891% in comparison with what you’d get from a standard, 5 dBi antenna.

But what can you do if you’d want the Wi-Fi signal to travel much farther? How can we help people in developing countries get access to the Internet, for example?

According to a UN report, more than four billion people in the world live without having Internet access. Unfortunately, Wi-Fi networks can’t be used in less developed countries – not without investing a lot of money into infrastructure. And even if we managed to build the needed infrastructure soon enough, the energy amount that would be needed to run them would be huge. So, how do we fix all these problems?

Harald Haas, a German Professor of Mobile Communications at the University of Edinburgh, believes that he has found a solution, utilizing off-the-shelf LEDs and regular solar cells to transmit data using light.

And the best part is that all the needed power is produced using solar light, so the idea has a lot of potential. Discover all the details by watching his seven-minute TED talk below.