Focus on Technology

Ann Thompson / WVXU

If just watching the game isn't enough for you, the Cincinnati Reds want to keep you engaged with new technology at Great American Ball Park. This year the team has invested in:

  • Instant Replay
  • Reds Connect Zone
  • iBeacons

At ballparks throughout the country teams are making instant replay available on the main video board. At Great American they are also on smaller monitors throughout the stadium.

Dr. John Halamka

Outside patient rooms at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center there's a Quick Response (QR) code on the wall. It is key to a new way doctors are doing things there.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

A solar panel is typically made up of lots of silicon cells that together form a circuit. The electrons zip through the panels to create electricity in a very efficient manner. But what if scientists could create the same efficiency in a different material that was cheaper?

Fei Yu, a University of Cincinnati doctoral student in materials engineering, is studying how to make polymer solar cells more efficient. Right now their performance is well below the most efficient silicon solar panels.

Why polymers:

NTV

This fall members of the African Union Commission are scheduled to release their recommendations for an African Space Agency. The feasibility study is chaired by South Africa and includes Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Egypt and Algeria.

For some, a space agency is the likely next step. Since 2010 satellite capacity across the continent has almost tripled, helping to fuel Africa's mobile revolution, according to University of Cincinnati aerospace engineering professor Grant Schaffner.

Marc Smith / Social Media Research Foundation

Many people struggle to make sense of Twitter. The constant stream of information containing up to 140 characters can often overwhelm. But believe it or not all the tweets in the world appear to fit into just six patterns.

The Pew Research Center and the Social Media Research Foundation studied thousands of tweets over a four-year period and came up with these six different conversational archetypes.

There's a stylish alternative in Europe to the sometimes geeky looking bike helmet. Hövding's airbag collar, complete with a gyroscope and accelerometer to detect a crash, is popular in its native Sweden and being sold in Europe and soon in Japan.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Critical care nurses are dividing their time between a dozen patients at the new UC Health Simulation Center but Lt. Col. Elena Schlenker has her eyes on one in particular.

“This patient is another blast injury,'' Schlenker said. "So he has bilateral amputations to his lower extremities. He’s obtained a chest wall trauma and he’s on a ventilator."

Redi Heating and Air Conditioning

  

Heated Driveways

Tired of walking on snow and ice covered sidewalks and having to repeatedly scrape and plow your driveway? Why not order a "snow melting system" and encourage your employer to do the same?

Ann Thompson / WVXU

 The Cincinnati Fire Department is looking into the possibility of using drones in the future. The city is partnering with the University of Cincinnati to test, what promises to be, a turn-key system.

The whirr and the sight of this small quadroter freezes University of Cincinnati students in their tracks as they stare at it in subzero temperatures.

Graduate Student Bryan Brown says, “Oh yes, every time we do this we have about 10 people stop and they’ll come up and take videos, especially when it’s warmer.”

The manufacturer of an airbag for skiers is putting the final touches on the product that continues to be tested in high-speed downhill events. Dainese, an Italian company that also makes airbags for motorcycle racers, had hoped to have the D-Air® SKI ready for the Sochi Olympics.

Ohio EPA

One of the still hotly contested debates over fracking is whether the practice of extracting trapped gas underground contaminates drinking water. Researchers at the University of Cincinnati are using an expensive machine to determine whether, at least in eastern Ohio, any contamination is naturally occurring or from fracking.

There's no shortage of negative publicity when it comes to fracking. Take the 2010 documentary "Gasland."

Pete Kistler, a former Syracuse University student, had trouble figuring out why he couldn’t land even an internship. He had a high GPA, won a couple of scholarships and started two clubs on campus. And while all his friends were getting phone calls and going out on interviews, he got nothing. Why? When he Googled his name he found out. There was a convicted sex offender with the same name.   

Greater Cincinnati got its first taste of "extreme Christmas decorators" in 2004 when Carson Williams synced his 16,000 lights to music in Mason.

Consumer Electronics Association

Want to wrap your Christmas gift and New Year's resolution into one? Try a device that keeps track of your every waking (and sleeping) moment. The Fitbit Force and its competing brands, count your steps, distance, calories burned, stairs climbed, and active minutes. It also monitors how long and how well you sleep and syncs it with your computer and smartphone.

Emily Wendler / WVXU

You might have heard about the polar bear poop sniffing dog Elvis who tries to determine which polar bears are pregnant, as reported by WVXU in this story. Here he is in suburban Kansas City taking a whiff of each sample and sitting when there is an indication of a pregnancy.

Technology is leveling the playing field for the blind. A British researcher, Stephen Hicks of the University of Oxford, has invented a pair of glasses that act like a movie screen.

This BBC video shows how the glasses will work.

Consumer Electronics Association

Buy a computer, smart phone or tablet on Monday, and a newer model comes out on Friday. Or so it seems in the fast-moving world of technology. What to buy and when to buy it, what’s the best device for your needs, and what new high-tech toy is worth your hard-earned dollars? Find out, as the Consumer Electronics Association’s “Digital Answer Man,” Jim Barry, joins us to share the latest in high-tech products and trends.

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

U.S. Government

The Pentagon is increasing its cybersecurity force fivefold after a series of hacking incidents that  have originated in China and other places. In recent months U.S. businesses and newspapers have also been compromised.  Suspects include organized rings and teenage hackers from Russia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Increasingly the U.S. government and businesses are taking steps to better protect themselves. Ann Thompson reports in Focus on Technology.


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