Applied Technotopia

We scan the digital environment to examine the leading trends in emerging technology today to know more about future.

We have added a few indices around the site. Though we look to the future, we need to keep an eye on the present as well:

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Posts tagged "europe"

An interesting project to 3D print a canal house in the Netherlands. (Heel goed!)


Dutch Architects 3-D Printing Canal House

A team in Amsterdam is working to 3-D print the classic Dutch canal house, a project that marries the city’s traditional architecture with state-of-the-art additive manufacturing.

Their effort is more than a study in futuristic design and building—they’ve got their sights on very real global issues that are set to mount in coming years.

"For the first time in history, over half the world’s population is living in cities," says Hans Vermeulen, a cofounder of the 3-D Print Canal House project. “We need a rapid building technique to keep up the pace with the growth of megacities and we thing 3-D printing can actually be the technique to provide good housing for the billions of people on this planet.”

See the video and read more below.

Read More

Will the Union Jack be changed after Scotland's inevitable independence?


Will This Be the U.K.’s New Flag?

Long after the Empire’s collapse, the Union Jack remains an internationally recognized symbol of Britain. But all that could change soon. Scotland, one of the four countries that make up the United Kingdom (along with England, Northern Ireland, and Wales), will hold a referendum on independence this September. If it succeeds, Britain’s iconic flag may need a makeover.

The Flag Institute, the U.K.’s national flag charity and the largest membership-based vexillological organization in the world, recently polled its members and found that nearly 65 percent of respondents felt the Union Jack should be changed if Scotland becomes independent. And after the poll, the organization found itself flooded with suggested replacements for the flag.

Read more. [Image courtesy of the U.K. Flag Institute]

A look at the UK in 2100 with a 100m rise in sea level.


The British Isles after a 100 m rise in sea levels

Related: Europe in 2100

More sea level rise maps

This is a great crowdfunding development!


Excited to announce that Kickstarter will open up to creators based in the Netherlands very soon! 

Robot Museum!? Just added to my to visit list.


I’m sure our new robot overlords will be pleased by the impressive collection assembled at The Robot Museum in Madrid, Spain.

A look at smart lighting in the Netherlands.


These Smart Streetlights Only Get Bright When They’re Needed

Cities spend massive amounts of money on electricity to light the street. But most of the time no one is there. This smart technology can sense when a car or pedestrian is approaching.

As much as half of a city’s electricity bill is from simply powering streetlights. Now a Dutch company’s design for smart street lights, which brighten only when needed, might help save massive amounts of that energy.

The Tvilight system works by sensing someone on the street—whether it’s a car, cyclist, or pedestrian—and instantly gets brighter in exactly the right place, while other lights stay on at a dim level. It’s quite a bit more complicated than the typical motion sensor lights you might see inside an office. Instead of just one light, the system illuminates multiple lights all around a moving vehicle or pedestrian.

The company’s founder was inspired to design the lights while working at another job that required frequent travel. “When I was flying, I was amazed to see how many streetlights are burning all night even when there’s no one around,” says Chintan Shah, CEO of Tvilight. "With a little research, I found out that Europe pays over €10 billion each year only to power streetlights. And this is shocking. Why do we need so much light when no one is there?”

Shah likens the effect to the spotlight that followed Michael Jackson around the stage as he danced the moonwalk. No matter where someone goes, a “safe circle of light” is always there. That means each of the lights needs to be able to communicate, in microseconds, with its neighbors.

The sensors inside are also smart enough to know not to activate the lights when a bird flies by, or when wind moves tree branches. The system can even tell what type of object is approaching; since a car moves faster, the lights around it are a bigger diameter and start brightening farther down the block.

“Five years ago, wireless sensors were not ready for this challenge,” says Shah. Now that reliable low-power sensor network technology is available, his team was able to build a custom combination of sensors that could filter out movement to know how and when to illuminate.

Soon, the company will also program custom lights for certain situations—a fire truck driving down the street, for example, will be able to turn the streetlights red as it passes to help alert other drivers.

Since Tvilight’s first installation of the lights in 2011, hundreds of the systems have been installed—at train stations, parking lots, a castle in Germany, and even an entire town in the Netherlands. Now the company hopes to move from selling directly to cities to work with distributors and other streetlight manufacturers, so it can spread the technology more quickly.

Everywhere the lights have been installed, Shah says they’ve had a positive response. Since the lights are never fully turned off, but just dimmed by 30%, it’s easy to see even if you’re just looking out the window of a house and nothing is driving by. And just by dimming the lights, energy usage can be cut 50% to 60%.

“The world talks about the challenge of climate change, but there are really practical solutions like this,” Shah says. “If we apply them, we’ll achieve our 2020 targets. I think it’s time that the world gets serious about implementing solutions that are readily available.”

Source: Fast Co.Exist

Related: 'Borrowed Light' and Light Pollution

Rosetta stirs!



After a journey of 10 years, of which 31 month spend in hibernation, ESA’s spacecraft Rosetta has officially woken up. The radio signal transmitted from the ‘comet chaser’ was received by ESOC, Germany tonight at 7:18PM GMT. 

Rosetta is designed to land on an actual flying comet, the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, to gather information on how comets behave and possibly find clues to the formation of the Solar System.

Rosetta is now about 673 million kilometers away from the Sun, and radio signals take up to 50 minutes to arrive. The spacecraft operates in a similar way as the Mars lander, Curiosity. Once Rosetta’s lander, Philae, has been successfully put on the comets surface in November, it will send the same HD pictures as those taken from Mars’ surface (but they will not be 3D).

Yay! Congrats to everyone involved! :)

(via placeofpluto)