Compost tea (a mixture of recycled organic matter soaked in water), hydroponic living basil, and organic certification are terms that, at first glance, may not have much of a connection to military veterans. Colin Archipley, a decorated Marine sergeant, and his wife Karen however saw the combination as a win-win when they founded the Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training (VSAT) program outside San Diego, Calif.
Many veterans who have served our country have challenges transitioning to civilian life and struggle with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and high unemployment rates. After three tours in Iraq, Colin found his solace working on the Archipley’s newly-purchased, neglected avocado farm, which sat on 3 acres outside of Camp Pendleton, a Marine Corps base.
China is stealing U.S. military and civilian space technology in an effort to disrupt U.S. access to intelligence, navigation and communications satellites, according to a report from the State and Defense Departments.
“China’s continuing efforts to acquire U.S. military and dual-use technologies are enabling China’s science and technology base to diminish the U.S. technological edge in areas critical to the development of weapons and communications systems,” the report released yesterday found. “Additionally, the technologies China has acquired could be used to develop more advanced technologies by shortening Chinese R&D cycles.”
Android is still the smartphone platform of choice for the world’s consumers, and it may also be the ideal operating system for the world’s armies, navies, and security agencies. The versatile, open, and free operating system already has most of the necessary pieces in place to power the most sophisticated defense and government applications. The only thing Android is missing is a heavy layer of security and hardware rendered rugged to optimize it for military purposes, according to Elektrobit, a Finnish wireless-engineering company.
Transformable robots and weight-distribution backpacks are among the cutting-edge gadgets on display at a London showcase for defense science and technology. The government’s Center for Defense Enterprise on Tuesday unveiled the latest gizmos being developed by small and medium-sized companies for use by Britain’s troops. They included thin-fabric keyboards for military uniforms and gunshot-detection systems for helmets.
The show also featured a weight-distribution backpack fitted with special cooling panels and masks designed to maximize the efficiency of oxygen delivery. Peter Luff, Minister for Defense Equipment, Support and Technology stressed the need to champion such firms to encourage and drive innovation. Luff announced an additional 2 million pounds of funding for companies working on defense research.
Disruptive technology can approach from an unexpected direction. One candidate that is likely to provide such a disruption in the embedded world comes from a military heritage.
Data Distribution Service, or DDS, is an open, peer-to-peer messaging protocol that uses a publish-subscribe model for communicating. It is being used to make defence systems more interoperable at the data level, and has been a key part of requirements for the US Department of Defense and the UK’s Ministry of Defence.
But one DDS technology supplier, Real Time Innovations (RTI) has taken the technology into the embedded world with a new set of products called RTI Connext. The technology has already been used in some embedded application, most notably with drives manufacturer Schnieder and Siemens Energy, but the move to a more product-based approach will open up the DDS technology to a wider embedded audience.
Technology originally developed by the US military is being deployed by O2 for a new campaign that will launch later this month.
But, says the agency behind the campaign, this is part of a wider revolution in “out-of-home” advertising that could see content accurately served to the public based on their emotional response within the next 12 months.
From 19 March, in select shopping centres, outside certain stores and in bus shelters nationwide, and in what is claimed to be a world first, members of the public will walk into “sound showers”. These couple parametric arrays (mechanisms that give off low frequency sound) and electrostatic speakers to create pools of directional sound, which unsuspecting members of the public will wander into.
Meanwhile, when strolling past certain shops, people will again hear the new O2 tune picked for the campaign, as surface speaker technology will be used to turn shop windows into giant loudspeakers.
The installations are being created by Curb, the media company behind the living bacteria billboard for the film Contagion, crop circle ads for Shredded Wheat and a sand replica of Windsor Castle. The company has a “resource network” of academics and technical experts worldwide — many of whom approached them with ideas of how new technologies could be used to create publicity stunts.
Prask Sutton, Curb’s Head of Multisensory Innovation, acknowledges, however, that the technology used with this latest O2 campaign isn’t new. In fact, the parametric arrays were originally developed by the US Navy and Soviet Navy for underwater sonar in the mid-1960s.