Harry Potter and the tiny cloak of invisibility
4th Feb 2011 | 10:00
Stolen iPhones, fat avatars and robotic reigns of terror
Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport hit the news this week after security staff discovered 44 iPhones concealed in the stockings of a 60-something year-old woman.
Security staff were tipped off by her gait, which resembled that of somebody trying to walk with 44 iPhones in their stockings. As reporter Suzzie Christodulu notes, "Putting 44 iPhones in your stockings would make walking difficult".
If you've ever wished your computer worked like an Etch-A-Sketch, Msraynsford has the device for you: inspired by the computer controlled Etch-A-Sketches he'd seen online, he decided to take the opposite approach and add rotational controls to a PC.
MDFFED: A computer that you control like an Etch-A-Sketch. How great is that?
Brilliantly, the spec includes MDF, the guts of an old mouse and the caps from a pair of water bottles.
Ever wondered what it's like to be fat? Simply strap on some VR specs, look at a portly avatar and poke yourself in the stomach with sticks.
Bizarre as it sounds, we're describing proper science here: computer scientist Mel Slater of University College London, whose team previously explored ways of making virtual arms feel real and ways to "make men feel as if their bodies were female", hopes that the research could ultimately help people with body image-related disorders.
Speaking to Inside Science News, Slater described how such technology might be useful: "People who are unhappy with being overweight could experience how eating healthily can alter [their] virtual appearance, which could serve as a strong motivator to change future behaviour in reality."
Invisibility cloak "good for paperclips"
We have good news and bad news. The good news is that scientists have invented a cloak of invisibility. The bad news is that it's so small, it only works on things that were pretty much invisible already.
According to The Guardian, "the cloak – a lump of crystal rather than a flowing cape – can hide only small objects, such as pins and paperclips".
HIDE IT: To be honest, we thought a Cloak of Invisibility might be more ambitious than a stick of concealer
That's great should owning pins and paperclips ever become punishable by death, but does the tech have any more practical uses? "If you had a mole on your face, you could potentially cloak it so it won't be seen," lead researcher Shuang Zhang from the University of Birmingham says. So there you go. One day technology might be able to mimic an eight-quid cover-up stick.
Be a bot for business
Which would you rather do: fly around the world on business, or control a robot that can zoom around other people's offices, causing chaos? Us too, which is why we love the idea of Anybots so much.
WANT WANT: This is the best thing we've seen for ages, and really makes us want to buy an Anybot
Anybots are "your personal avatar", controlled via your browser and enabling you to conduct a reign of robot terror without leaving the house. The website includes the best diagram we've seen for months.
Liked this? Then check out TechRadar's bumper selection of 10 tech PR stunts that spectacularly failed
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