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How Shape and Colour Changing Materials Will Transform Our World: Life In 4D


4D Print pic 02

Programmable materials are a clever matter. Any material that can change state, shape or optical properties also has the power to change the world around it.

In 2013 the programmable materials pioneer Skylar Tibbits presented a TED talk on the birth of 4D printing. While 3D printing may be making waves in industries from house building to pharmaceuticals, or in the home in craft design or for repairs and replacement parts, 4D printing is a whole new movement.

4D printing is the idea of taking multi-material 3D printing to create an object that then transforms over time (the fourth dimension) into an entirely different shape or structure. This type of robotic building can be pre-designed with software and used for extremely tiny, or real world, objects.

There is an unprecedented revolution happening at the biological and nano-scale, says Tibbits, and this is giving us the ability to programme physical…

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Apple quietly bought an unusual startup


Apple has quietly acquired augmented reality startup Metaio, a project initially launched by Volkswagen back in 2003.

Metaio’s site said it wasn’t taking any new customer orders and then this document appeared, confirming all Metaio’s shares have transferred to Apple ownership. The document, which was reported by TechCrunch, shows that the share transfer took place on either May 21st or 22nd.

The Munich-based startup canceled its user conference in San Francisco this week, raising eyebrows among the tech in-crowd.

Metaio has a significant community of developers with about 1,000 customers and 150,000 users worldwide in 30 countries. It has also already worked hand-in-hand with some big-name brands to develop unique experiences, like the Ferrari car tour below:

Apple [fortune-stock symbol=”AAPL”] could leverage Metaio’s expertise to help build out an augmented reality offering. The tech giant patented an iPhone-compatible VR headset earlier this year, and is supposedly working on…

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Data in motion

LAVREB Laboratory of Virtual Reality and Economic Behavior

A New Mobile Map Captures ‘Internet of Moving Things’

Welcome to the world of data in motion, all the time. A data-intensive mapping service from Urban Engines that was announced on Tuesday carries information about several cities in the United States, as well as route maps for getting around and directions in augmented reality, using just the processing power and storage of the phone. As impressive as that seems, the underlying technology used to figure out where things are have a bigger impact. The augmented reality function is particularly useful for walking directions. Using the compass and accelerometer in a smartphone, it’s possible to look through the viewfinder of the camera and see arrows that indicate the route one should go through, say, a subway station to come up the correct exit. Connect to a cloud computing service, and it can also give information about things like traffic congestion. ….[

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