In this week's wrap, smartphones that can bend could soon become a reality, and a team of German nuclear physicists are conducting tests to determine if we are living in "The Matrix". Get the details on these stories and more below.
Flexible smartphones coming soon
Flexible smartphones may soon become commonplace on store shelves. The Wall Street Journal reports that Samsung is moving forward with plans to make displays out of flexible plastic rather than glass, a move that could make devices bendable. These handsets would incorporate OLED technology, which can be put on a number of different materials, including flexible plastic.
Keyboards going virtual
A student at the University of London's Godsmiths College has developed a virtual keyboard for iPhones using the gadget's built-in accelerometer. Florian Kraeutli developed the Vibrative keyboard, which sees a smartphone measuring the vibrations made by fingers tapping on the table that it is resting on and types out messages as if it were attached to a regular keyboard. According to Kraeutli, he developed the keyboard to appease the frustration felt by smartphone users when faced with drafting lengthy e-mails or notes on a small onscreen keyboard.
Via: Huffington Post
Drugs getting high
Scientists in the US are using sound waves to make the chemical components of drugs levitate in mid-air. According to researchers at the Argonne National Laboratory, the new technique could lead to the creation of drugs that are more effective than those currently available. Using technology that was originally developed by NASA, the scientist set up a pair of speakers that shoot identical sound waves at each other causing the capsules to levitate. The experiments are intended to create drugs with an amorphous structure, which will make them more soluble in the body and more effective at treating disease.
Are we living in 'The Matrix'?
A nuclear physicist from the University of Bonn has come up with a test that utilises a series of simulations to determine if we are in fact living in the physical world or if we are part of an elaborate machine. Nuclear physicist Silas Beane and several colleagues believe that certain tests can determine if normal occurrences are happening as they should in a physical world or if they are occurring as one would expect them to within a computer simulation.
Via: The Verge
Google intros real-life mobile game
Google has released a new multi-player gaming platform that turns players' real-world locations into a virtual world. The app, called Ingress, is based on the premise that a strange energy has been discovered by European scientists, and it must be controlled before it controls the player. The game requires actual movement and encourages the user to go outside in order to unlock new features, weapons and adventures. If the player was in Time Square for example, the app's built-in scatter map technology adds a virtual layer to the player's surrounding, leading him or her to real statues and landmarks to continue the game.
3D printing photo booth produces tiny figurines
For a limited period, what has been called the world's first 3D printing photo booth will open at the Eye of Gyre exhibition space, in Harajuku, Tokyo. From 24 November to 14 January 2013, visitors with reservations can have their portraits taken in the 3D printing booth. But, instead of a photograph, they'll receive miniature replicas of themselves.