As someone who works with technology for years now, I might sometimes appear as a “know all, seen all” kind of guy. But that’s far from the truth. Sure, there is plenty of technology I know or even slightly aware of. But there is still a whole lot that blows my mind when I come across it.
Via this blog post, I came across an X27 – ultra low light night vision color camera. And my mind is blown. This technology provides high definition, color video images in ultra low light conditions (no moon, overcast). The level of detail this camera picks up is simply unbelievable. Check out this video comparing X27 to some other night vision technologies.
The X27 camera takes videos in darkness that looks like they were shot in the daytime. And they’re in color…none of this black and white, thermal, or infrared stuff. The camera was developed for military use, has an effective ISO rating of 5,000,000, and has a comically long name: “X27 Reconnaissance Day/Night high Fidelity true real time low light/low lux color night vision Imaging Security / Multi Purpose camera system”. Pricing information is not available, but I bet you’re paying for every single one of those words. (via digg)
Sure, military is probably the first and only sector that can afford this. But as with anything, once the technology is available, it will make it’s way down to the rest of us, opening new doors in law enforcement, security, photography, movies and TV, entertainment, health and safety, environment and animal welfare, and other areas.
When startled by predators, tiny fruit flies respond like fighter jets – employing screaming-fast banked turns to evade attacks. Researchers at the University of Washington used an array of high-speed video cameras operating at 7,500 frames a second to capture the wing and body motion of flies after they encountered a looming image of an approaching predator (abstract). ‘We discovered that fruit flies alter course in less than one one-hundredth of a second, 50 times faster than we blink our eyes, and which is faster than we ever imagined.’ In the midst of a banked turn, the flies can roll on their sides 90 degrees or more, almost flying upside down at times, said Florian Muijres, a UW postdoctoral researcher and lead author of the paper. ‘These flies normally flap their wings 200 times a second and, in almost a single wing beat, the animal can reorient its body to generate a force away from the threatening stimulus and then continues to accelerate,’ he said.
First there was the anternet, and now this? It almost sounds like humans a giant insects…
Mikhail Kalashnikov, the designer of the world famous AK-47 assault rifle, has passed away today, at the age of 94. He was a true genius and a patriot of his country. Coming from a very simple family, with very little education, after serving as a tank mechanic and later as a tank commander, after being wounded, he designed more than 150 models of small weapons – rifles, assault rifles, machine guns, etc.
Blame the Nazi Germans for making me become a gun designer … I always wanted to construct agriculture machinery.
Such were the times, I guess – growing up in the post Civil War, Revolution and First World War country, serving during the Second World War and seeing all horrors and dangers first hand, his peaceful mind was turned the other way.
I’m proud of my invention, but I’m sad that it is used by terrorists … I would prefer to have invented a machine that people could use and that would help farmers with their work — for example a lawn mower.
Looking into his engineering genius, I see the good old principle of keeping things simple:
When a young man, I read somewhere the following: God the Almighty said, ‘All that is too complex is unnecessary, and it is simple that is needed’ … So this has been my lifetime motto – I have been creating weapons to defend the borders of my fatherland, to be simple and reliable.
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