HoloLens Steps Up and Green Electronics Progress…

It’s the year 2017 and each week we’re presented by more and more possibilities for the application of our considerable advances.

 This week is no different and our friend from Hawaii, Joan, has done her best to cherry pick the most interesting developments in the world of electronics. 

Infrared link Could Replace Wires In Data Centres

I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand the sight of loose wires. My husband is constantly trolling me for my ‘tidiness complex’ as he calls it, but the truth is that our home would be a cluttered mess if wasn’t for my ‘little social disorder’.

The TV is so often the source of the untidiness. Years of collecting videos on varying formats, video game consoles and speaker sets has led to a lethal ‘no man’s land’ of knotted cables developing behind the TV, something that I choose to ignore rather than sort out. These worries could well be a thing of the past though, if the technology that’s being developed at Penn State University makes to the wide world.

Using infrared free-space optics, engineers working for a group of Universities have figured out a way of replacing cables in data centres with simple lasers and receivers. These connections can carry data at a speed of 10Gb/s and could be the start of a semi-wireless future. Prof. Kavehrad, spokesperson for the study, has said that he’d like to simplify the process even more by removing the fire optics altogether.

Microsoft’s HoloLens Gets First Medical Simulation Tool

Since the dawn of Virtual Reality last year, with the market release of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, there has been an increasing interest from the Medical community in the technology.

It’s not hard to see why Medical Practitioners and Surgeons are so interested in this burgeoning technology.

The human body is a wonderfully unique and complex creation, students may get a certain amount of experience studying cadavers but the opportunities they get to learn about surgery, outside of theoretical classes, are slim. Although last year’s VR releases have provided developers with ample opportunity to develop supporting programs, it’s Microsoft’s AR competitor, HoloLens, that is currently showing the most promise.

CAE Healthcare, one of the leading Healthcare Simulation companies in the States, has officially announced the first Medical Solution application for Microsoft’s, yet to be released, Augmented Reality headset. The application allows students and teachers to practice surgical procedures on real-dummies, whilst the interior of the ‘patient’ is visible through the use of 3-Dimensional Anatomical Map. This innovation could help students get the practice (and confidence) they need in developing their skills before moving on to the real thing.

Future of Green Technologies Looking Bright

Lastly, the idea of your phone or laptop being solely created with the use of biological materials may well seem a little strange, but it’s a reality that we are now one step closer to, thanks to positive progress made by microbiologists at the University of Massachusetts.

The similarity between the way biological cells communicate to each other and traditional electronics work have been noted for a while, but scientists have yet to find a naturally occurring example of this phenomena, until now that is.

According to their report, which you can read in full in this week’s mBio, they have discovered ‘a type of natural wire’ that has ‘substantial advantages over human-made materials’. Derek Lovley, taking the lead on this project, has stated that the natural microbial nanowires are cheaper and easier to create compared to their chemically synthesised counterparts.

The research is in it’s early stages still, so we might have a while to wait before our phones are grown from test tubes.