Technology of the Future

I just received a free magazine, and whilst flicking through I came across some clever ideas, so being a bit of a geek I thought I would share them with all the lovely Anglian blog readers.

This one relates perfectly to the recent blog about London Bike Hire, it’s about a new type of bike that has a medley of gadgets hidden in the back wheel, The Copenhagen Wheel. Concealed in a red metal shell, situated in the hub of the rear wheel, is an electric motor, a computer, GPS, Bluetooth and a pair of batteries to store the kinetic energy from your braking. This energy can then be released when you need a boost up the hill on your way to work.

You synchronize your bike to an Android phone to enable you to increase or decrease resistance, display GPS information, log your “green kilometres” and plan your route. Using real time it also updates you on traffic conditions, pollution data and can redirect you if traffic is a nightmare in certain areas. Due to it’s wireless internet abilities you can connect with a network of other cyclists in your city with the Copenhagen Wheel to share data about your journeys.

This clever bike can even detect if it is being stolen! Due to the fact it is always connected to your Android phone, if anyone else rides it without connecting your phone to it, the Copenhagen Wheel will automatically increase resistance to the maximum and track it’s location in real-time, whilst using the GPS to locate it. As the stupid thief is biking away, with resistance at the full, they will have charged your batteries for when you find it. Genius!

Bicycle Lane

Another project, which is high tech, but practical for people who want their private lives kept private, is a window that alters its opaqueness depending on whether people are looking into their houseĀ  and in changes to the weather. Using MIT-patented “smart glass”, facial-recognition cameras and thermal sensors, the window will track the direction people are looking. If they happen to be glaring into the window it passes a current of electricity to turn the glass opaque, therefore foiling the plans of the passing voyeur.

The glass is made with a film that contains rod-like particles each suspended in billions of liquid droplets that are specifically positioned. When a current passes through them the particles allow light through, but when there is no electric it tints the glass. The amount of current will differentiate the opaqueness of the glass. Will Anglian ever create smart double glazing? Is this something that would interest you? I don’t think it is something I would personally be interested in, but if I was Justin Beiber then maybe this would be perfect for me? It would also be handy if you live in a terrace house, or have an open garden with a conservatory then you may not want people being able to see what you’re up to, so the idea has got good potential!

My attempt at tinted windows

The final idea I will share with you is a new type of bus stop called the Eyestop. I bet you’re wondering what we can do with a bus stop to make it more high tech? Well, Senseable are designing a bus stop that allows you to see the exact position of the next bus! Not only will you be able to see where the next bus is, but you can also leave messages and plan your journey. The whole bus stop will be self sufficient as it will have photovoltaic panels that generate enough energy to run itself, giving this idea even more credibility.

I think this idea is brilliant because there is nothing more annoying than sitting at a bus stop on a rainy day, waiting for a bus that is already 20 minutes late, and by the time you have just hailed a taxi down and closed the door, the bus turns up! If you knew where the bus was life would be so much easier, meaning you know if you will be late for work or if the bus is stuck in slow traffic. The interactive screens are perfect to help plan your journey, especially helpful when you’re in a city you don’t know, other than the road you need to get to! This one is my favourite idea that I think a lot of people would benefit from across the country.

Bus stops of the future?

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