Focus on Technology

Mondays at 6:44 a.m.; 8:44 a.m. during Morning Edition and 4:44 p.m. during All Things Considered

Ann Thompson reports on the latest trends in technology and their effects on medicine, safety, the environment or entertainment.

As of August, 2013 statistics show there are more than

  • one billion people using Facebook
  • 500 million on Twitter
  • 1 billion uploading and watching YouTube videos
  • 200 million with a Pandora account
  • 238 million on LinkedIn.

Those numbers are increasing daily and so is your data. CEO and founder of LifeCellar.com Stephen Bulfer estimates we will each create 88 gigabytes of data by age 75. According to Digital Beyond bloggers John Romano and Evan Carroll  

Arch Biopartners

Imagine a world where a spray-on gel could make make cars and boats corrosion-proof, airplanes more aerodynamic, the flow in wastewater treatment plants faster and prevent surfaces from harboring bacteria.

That protective coating, invisible to the naked eye, may not be too far away according to Arch Biopartners. Within two years, principal scientist Randy Irvin says the initial application will be a methanol-based spray

Unequal Technologies

Major League Baseball is working with a couple of different companies to design a special pitchers baseball cap that would protect them if hit in the head.  MLB medical director Dr. Gary Green says he's trying to

Google

Ann Thompson / WVXU

GE's electrical power systems business, with an eye toward the increasing need for power on airplanes, is about to open the first of its kind research facility on the campus of the University of Dayton. The EPISCENTER (Electrical Power Integrated Systems Center) will provide the floor space and infrastructure needed to test four complete electrical systems.

Would you go to Mars?

Jul 17, 2013
An artist's rendering for Mars One

Ten years from now a crew of four people may just be getting used to the Red Planet. Eventually up to 40 people could populate a colony on Mars. Would you go? 

The Moerlein Lager House now has an employee who constantly monitors social media and immediately brings any unwanted publicity to the boss's attention. It's been that way since the restaurant was embroiled in controversy more than a year ago when it took out full page ads calling itself "Wrigley South."

Holly Yurchison / WVXU

The City of Mason is quickly becoming a magnet for high-tech companies.   Faced with challenging economic times and competition from neighboring cities, Mason decided to get creative to target these sectors:

  • Biohealth
  • Biohealth IT
  • Digital IT

Dottie Stover, University of Cincinnati

The first step in developing a Tricorder device may only be a few years away. UC researcher Jason Heikenfeld is testing his band-aid like patch. With just a few drops of sweat, it will monitor health and diagnose disease on people and in the lab using artificial skin that mimics sweat. Ann Thompson reports in "Focus on Technology."

New Jersey Institute of Technology

Interest in "smart guns," using biometrics and radio frequency technology, has rebounded following recent gun violence. President Obama has included them as part of his plan to reduce such mass shootings. Who makes these guns? How do they work? And will they catch on? Ann Thompson reports in "Focus on Technology."

The Federal Aviation Administration has started writing licensing and safety regulations regarding using unmanned air vehicles (UAV’s) for alternate purposes, such as newsgathering, by 2015. In this week’s Focus on Technology, Ann Thompson reports on how these drones may eliminate the need for TV news helicopters.

WVXU

Part of the President’s plan to reduce gun violence focuses on increased mental health services. Ann Thompson, in “Focus on Technology,” reports on Cincinnati efforts to be pro-active, involving a predictive spit test and photographing the brain.

WVXU

The faster police clear an accident, the faster you can get moving again. In this week’s Focus on Technology, Ann Thompson reports on new tools increasing the speed and accuracy of documenting police reports.

UC

There is disagreement over whether Cincinnati has made much progress in its fight against bed bugs. It still shows up among the top U.S. cities for the bloodsucking arthropods. Right now heat is the most effective way to get rid of them. Chemical treatments are another option. But one University of Cincinnati professor has a possible futuristic solution. Regina Baucom looks to hurt them on a molecular level. Ann Thompson reports in "Focus on Technology."

The rush is on for a better battery that will be smaller, hold more power, and charge faster. The Department of Energy announced a new partnership with this challenge: Invent batteries that are five times more powerful and one fifth the price in just five years. The Joint Center for Energy Storage Research or JCESR will gather brain power from five national labs, five universities and industry. Ann Thompson, in "Focus on Technology," reports on what kind of battery you can expect in electronic devices and cars and when.

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