fangmcgee writes: Anyone can sway to the rhythm of a catchy tune. But what if you could translate your body movements into actual music? That’s the idea behind Machina’s “MJ v1.0,” the world’s first jacket to combine a Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) controller with flexible motion sensors to operate multiple digital music instruments, computers, and other devices simultaneously. It’s even designed to be hackable. The Mexico-based technology firm is working on a “hackstore” that will allow users to upload their own presets. Ultimately, you’ll be able to make the jacket do whatever you want: engineer beats, mix video, even play games. Forget learning the guitar—this is the future of making music.
fangmcgee writes: A swathe of woven fabric could soon give pricy anti-burglary systems a run for their money. Don’t be fooled by its nondescript appearance, however. Developed by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM in Berlin, the material contains a fine lattice of conductive threads interspersed among the polyester fibers. When the fabric is cut or penetrated, a built-in microcontroller springs into action, triggering an alarm that alerts authorities to the precise location of the break-in. While the smart textile could provide useful coverage for home and office safes, precious artwork, or cargo in the back of a trailer or truck, IZM has its sights on a far loftier prize: protecting entire buildings.
fangmcgee writes: An expert Lego Technic builder, Nicolas Lespour has turned what many consider child’s play into a full-fledged career. Latest among his toys? An automated mechanical loom that weaves fabric from multiple bobbins of colored yarn. Presented on Monday at Fana’Briques 2012, a convention Lego enthusiasts organize annually in Rosheim, France, Lespour’s invention comprises 20,000 individual Lego components, including a fly-shuttle mechanism that delivers the weft into the warp with little human intervention.
fangmcgee writes: As the first female leg amputee to complete the Ironman Triathlon World Championship in Hawaii, Sarah Reinertsen is no stranger to surmounting obstacles. Nike is giving her a boost, however, with a lightweight, durable composite sole that slides easily over her carbon-fiber running blade. Because options for prosthetic soles are limited, particularly for ersatz limbs that aren’t shaped like a human foot, Reinertsen had to cobble her own using the outsole of a traditional running shoe. The sportswear giant worked with both Reinersten and Össur, which manufactures the Flex-Run blade, to engineer the “Sole,” a shoe that offers a tighter grip, increased stability, and a more predictable advantage on the track.