In this episode of MBT's Manufacturing Newswire, we'll discuss the latest on wireless electricity and Sony’s Digital Paper. We'll also talk about the new auto safety regulation and take a look at airbag jackets.
The next generation of the well-known Goodyear blimp has made its first flight. Goodyear says the high-tech, helium-filled airship is bigger, quicker and more maneuverable.It has a semi-rigid internal structure not present in earlier models, raising questions about whether it is truly a blimp. The so-far-unnamed airship is expected to have a longer flight range and better aerial broadcast capabilities.
WiTricity may soon recharge your cell phone, car and pacemaker. The company is developing wireless electricity technology that will operate safely and efficiently over distances ranging from centimeters to several meters. WiTricity's wireless electric power components will enable OEM's to make their products truly "wireless." Right now the magnetic field technology is limited to room scale distances. The company hopes to transfer electricity over greater physical distances in the future to replace the world of cables.
E-ink displays have been eclipsed in the tablet market by LCD displays, but there's still demand for alternative display technologies. Enter Sony's Digital Paper. The company notes Digital Paper is easy to use and optimized for reading and annotating documents. Sony sees Digital Paper as a way to attract business customers who work in paper-intensive environments, but want to move toward online workflows and business processes. Its notepad feature allows notes to be shared, lessening the cost and time of printing, copying, and distributing physical documents.
Tesla's direct-sales structure led to a compromise in New York that will allow the company to maintain its current sales outlets in the state and possibly add more. Car dealers argued that prohibition is needed to ensure that consumers can negotiate lower prices by shopping around different franchises and still get their cars serviced if carmakers go out of business. Car dealers recently won a round in New Jersey, where the Motor Vehicle Commission approved a rule banning Tesla's direct-sales strategy. This will force the company to turn its showrooms into galleries, where sales staff is barred from offering test drives and discussing prices or purchase instructions.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a regulation Monday requiring all vehicles, including new trucks and buses, to have rear-view visibility -- in effect, requiring backup cameras. The rule applies to everything from the smallest subcompact vehicles to commercial vans. It begins phasing in with 2016 models and takes full effect in May 2018. The rule follows an outcry from consumer groups and families touched by tragedies, especially back-over accidents involving children. Under the new rule, all vehicles will have to come equipped with the ability for the driver to see a 10-foot by 20-foot zone directly behind the vehicle.
[Clip of the Week]
Teaming up with motorcycle clothing company Dainese, Ducati has announced a new version of its stunning Multistrada 1200 sports-tourer that wirelessly inflates airbag jackets for both rider and passenger in the event of a crash. Dainese has been experimenting with its D-Air, suit-mounted airbags since 2008. The Street version protects the wearer's entire torso, front and back, and inflates in a very quick 45 milliseconds.
Ducati plans to release more information on April 15. So in the meantime, you'll just have to be satisfied by it inflating in slow motion.
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