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Popular Science Australia November 2018

This is the most exciting time to be alive in history. Discovery and innovation are reshaping the world around us, and Popular Science makes even the most complex ideas entertaining and accessible. By taking an upbeat look at today's most revolutionary science and technology, we forecast what tomorrow will be like. We deliver the future now!

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access_time3 min.
accept obesity, but don’t celebrate it

Oh yeah? Well how about not using the term “fat people” for a start, University of Otago? The issue of obesity in Western societies (and emerging in others now too) is a big huge important one. A few decades from now, I suspect researchers will refer to it as a pandemic, another great scourge that impacted the lives of hundreds of millions of people. First there was the Black Death, then there was the Spanish Flu (see p.36), then HIV/AIDS, and now obesity. Does this sound over the top? To call obesity a plague or a pandemic? Before I go further, let me deÿne terms. The University of Otago wants to end “fat stigma”, but I’m not talking about being a bit fat, full-on-fat, or even fat-as. I’m talking about being obese.…

access_time4 min.
the future of cars (that will never be built)

CONCEPT CARS ARE ALWAYS FUN. SURE, NONE OF these amazing vehicles, all of which made recent appearances at the 2018 Paris Motor Show, will ever sit in an ordinary person’s driveway. Yet each of them will contribute a styling or functional element to the future of cars, in some way. Or maybe that doesn’t even matter. Maybe they’re just art for art’s sake. 1 PEUGEOT E-LEGEND This electric muscle car stole the 2018 Paris Motor Show, acting as a design showcase for the future of Peugeot and also showing what a future fully autonomous car could look like on the inside. A throwback to the long-running Peugeot 504 coupe, the exterior design is breathtaking — while the interior is crazy enough to remind you that the E-Legend is a concept and won’t…

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moving pictures

ONE OF THE GREAT IRRITATIONS OF LIVING IN THE FUTURE IS WHEN someone says “oh oh let me show you this awesome video I took” and then you have to stand politely for 20 seconds while they swipe around their phone muttering about how they were sure they had it etc. Now there’s a cure: the LifePrint hyperphoto printer ($279). It creates instant-print photos that use an augmented-reality app to show those video clips as soon as you point your own phone at them. Here’s how. 1. SHOOT Take a short video with a smartphone, just like everyone does these days. No problem. 2. SELECT Open the Lifeprint app and select a video clip. Swipe to choose directly from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and GoPro. 3. PRINT Over USB or a Wi-Fi link, print out a still…

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Like most compact insta-printers, the LifePrint uses ZINK “zero ink” technology. Like old-timey Polaroids, each ZINK cartridge contains sheets that already have all the pigments sandwiched into three layers - cyan, magenta, and blue. The printer essentially fuses different parts of the sheet to mix the colours and create an image. They’re small - only 7.5 cm by 11.5 cm - but crisp and clear. The LifePrint printer works over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, so what it lacks in poster-size printing, it makes up for in speed and convenience.…

access_time5 min.

NOTE ON PRICING: For the first time in many months, we’ve actually managed to source Australian dollar pricing on all these gadgets! This is because most are hosted on crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, which auto-convert prices. NOTE: Actual prices may vary and then there’s customs... ¡Yappah! Protein Crisps www.yappah.com$23 Chips in a can? What madness is this? Wait, you’re saying chips originally came in cans before humans invented cheap plastic and ruined everything? These chips celebrate upcycling and are made with leftover ingredients from vegetable processing factories and breweries. Then they grind up chicken and mix that in too. The pictures show lovely chicken breasts but we think it’s... not the good bits of those. No wait, the chips are delicious! Picade www.pimoroni.com$280 The Picade is back! Now in an even more compact form…

access_time1 min.
dyson gets its sucks in a row

WE DON’T REALLY KNOW WHY DYSON INSISTS ON CALLING ITSELF A vacuum cleaner company. Its product range is now varied enough (see: the hair-dryer, the hand-dryer, the air purifier, the humidifier) that it should really start celebrating its real strength: high-powered, super-compact, electric motors. That is, after all, what all those products have in common. Still, vacuuming is where the company got its big break, so vacuuming is where the R&D bucks keep going. The latest result is this: the Cyclone V10. INLINE SUCK The previous V8 vac had its collection bit perpendicular to the intake, kinking the airflow. The V10 has everything in a straight line, allowing for a larger collection bin and (Dyson claims) 20% more suck than the V8. POWERED UP A further tweak of Dyson’s signature “digital motor” combined with…